WHITE SPICE POUND CAKE
Generally a lot of recipes call for just egg yolks, and, as a result, you are left with too many egg whites on your hand. Scrambled eggs, egg white omelet, macaroons, meringues can be useful ways to use those left-over egg whites. Or, if you are the beauty-savvy kinds, you can use the egg whites as a rinse for your hair (you’ll smell of egg after that- but it conditions your hair like anything). High in protein and negligible in fat, its a good way to enjoy the benefits of egg and not add to the cholesterol levels in your body.
I had made custard the other day, and was left with the dilemma of how to use the left-over whites. I decided to make the White Spice Pound Cake from Rose Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. The cake is soft and velvety and even though there are no egg yolks, the addition of cinnamon, cloves and brandy gives it a really rich flavor. I added nutmeg too, though the original recipe doesn’t ask for it.
One technique I have recently adopted while baking cakes, is to always spoon out the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping the flour directly into the measuring cup. The best way to measure flour, of course, is by weighing, but since I don’t own a scale, I have read spooning it out into the measuring cup gives a more accurate measurement. It also aerates the flour, resulting in a light, moist cake.
WHITE SPICE POUND CAKE
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible
(all ingredients must be at room temperature)
1/4 cup milk
4 large egg whites
2 tsp brandy
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg, optional (the original recipe doesn’t mention nutmeg)
1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
8 ounces unsalted butter ( must be softened)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 6-cup loaf pan or fluted tube pan.
In a medium bowl, lightly combine the milk, whites and brandy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. The batter will almost fill the pan. Bake 45 to 55 minutes (40 to 50 minutes) or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and invert onto greased wire rack. If baked in a loaf pan, to keep the bottom from splitting, reinvert so that the top is up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.