Friday, April 3, 2009

Orange-Glazed Pound Cake

Did you know the word Bundt (as in Bundt pan) is more or less a made up word? It derives from the German word bund (which is where we get the English word bundle), but it is really just the trademark name for the shaped tube cake pan invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1950, by a company called Nordic Ware. In the six decades since, Nordic Ware has created all manner of variations on the original.

This brings me to today's pound cake recipe. The reason that pound cakes and Bundt pans play so nicely together is that a pound cake has a very fine grain to it and the cake will conform to all the little nooks and crannies of a Bundt pan. And as long as you're up, why not take the opportunity to put it to the test with one of the more elaborate pans that Nordic Ware makes (all about $30), to wit:

1 Cathedral pan
2 Chrysanthemum pan
3 Bavaria pan

Orange-Glazed Pound Cake
I originally tested this in a three-dimensional Easter bunny pan. The result was very cute, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to cut the cake into serving portions. (Aunt Zelda, would you like an ear or a piece of the left leg?) So I switched to a 10-cup Bundt pan instead. If you have a bunny pan, this recipe will work nicely in it (as long as it will hold 10 cups of batter).

As with any pound cake, this should be served in thin slices. If you'd like, you could double or triple the orange glaze and serve it at the table for guests to drizzle over their cake.

Butter and flour for the pan
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons water
Powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange juice concentrate and vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine the flour, granulated sugar, orange zest, baking powder and salt, and blend. Add half the egg mixture and all of the butter. Beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Beat on high speed for 1 minute.
4. Add the remaining egg mixture in two parts, beating well after each addition. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack.
7. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice and water just to warm. While the cake is still warm, brush with the warmed orange juice mixture.
8. Just before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Makes 16 servings

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