So I had narrowed down the items I was going to make for the book review at my house, Baked Caramel Apple Donuts and mini-blueberry pies. Then I made the mistake of visiting chow.com, one of my favorite sites, when what should appear before me but Amaretto Pound Cake.
Out with the pie ... in with the pound cake!
Actually, this is almond pound cake, but with real Amaretto instead of almond extract. Lots of Amaretto. Amaretto in the batter. Amaretto in the glaze. Amaretto in the coffee.
Sorry, I lied about the coffee.
This cake could probably be made with margarine. Since I already made some of the donuts dairy-free, I didn't need another parve cake so I went with the original butter.
I do believe that the cake could have used a pinch more almond taste, so I recommend adding one-eighth teaspoon of almond extract juuuust enough to nudge the cake over the edge (not literally, my oven doesn't need more charcoal chemically bonded to it) rather than a couple extra tablespoons of Amaretto, to avoid having to adjust for extra liquid.
As for the glaze, I followed the recipe exactly, but the mixture was more like stiff frosting. It was way too thick to drip decoratively over the cake. Most glazes are milk-based, where more milk is added to reach proper consistency. Since this glaze was amaretto-based, there was no harm adding tablespoon after tablespoon (about a 1/4 cup) before I got the drippiness to my liking. Your mileage may vary.
Eleven Hadassah women were at my house on Sunday night for the book review. I had most of the caramel apple donuts left. Only a couple slices of amaretto pound cake remained. This recipe is a keeper.
Amaretto Pound Cake
slightly adapted from chow.com
Yield: one loaf cake, about 12-16 servings
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, plus an additional tablespoon for coating the pan
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus additional for coating the pan
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup Amaretto
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-4 Tbl. Amaretto
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with
butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Coat parchment with butter, then coat
the entire pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup. Combine with baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps; set aside.
Using a mixer, beat butter at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
Add sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes more. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well at medium speed and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Set mixer to low speed and add half of the reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
Mix amaretto and vanilla together and add to batter; mix until just incorporated.
Add remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Remove bowl from mixer and gently mix in any loose flour with a rubber spatula.
Transfer the batter to prepared pan. Notice that you can still see some flour clinging to batter. IMHO it is better to have a little flour remaining rather than overbeating and creating a doorstop.
Using spatula, smooth the top a little. Bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove pan from oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on the wire rack, about 30 to 40 minutes. Peel off parchment either before or after cake cools, your choice.
Whil cake cools, make glaze. Combine sugar and amaretto in a small bowl, whisking until smooth. Whisk in additional amaretto, a tablespoon at a time until its thickness is to your liking. I prefer drippiness that behave like in this photo, where it holds its shape for a few seconds before melting back into the glaze.
Drizzle glaze over the completely cooled cake.
Sprinkle and press on almonds.
Stand back and receive alcollades.
It's late now. Sorry, add your own snarky caption.