Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Honeyed Mixed Berries

Hiver 2007
food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

This is a smaller version of the classic pound cake made with a pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. It has all of the buttery flavour you expect and an accent of honey and vanilla you may not. To get the best honey flavour, use a good-quality, thick, darker honey (but not buckwheat, it is too bitter). A thicker, darker honey will cost more but the flavour will come through in baked goods much better than with a lower-quality thin honey. And of course, only use fresh, real butter. The berries add a crowning touch and are easy to make with the packaged mixed berries available in the freezer section.

1¼ cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
2/3 cup (150 mL) butter, softened
1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup (75 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract

Honeyed Mixed Berries
2 cups (500 mL) frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp (25 mL) liquid honey

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).

2. Butter an 8 x 4-inch (1.5-L) metal loaf pan.

3. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until very pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs until blended. Beat in honey and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture in 2 additions, just until blended.

4. Spread into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove pan and let cake cool completely on rack. Meanwhile, make Honeyed Mixed Berries.

5. Combine frozen berries and honey in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature for about 2 hours (or in the refrigerator overnight), stirring occasionally, or until berries are thawed and juices are released. Mash slightly to break down larger berries. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

6. Cut cake into slices with a serrated knife. Serve topped with Honeyed Mixed Berries.

Serves 6 to 8