Guest Post: Brandy Almond Pound Cake by Jessica of the Novice Chef

You know what? This guest posting stuff kinda rocks. I hope you are enjoying it! Today I’ve got something extra special, a delicious pound cake (but not your plain ol’ boring pound cake, this cake is loaded. Literally.) I h

ave been lucky enough to meet up with Jessica of the Novice Chef twice now, and she’s as sweet in person as she seems on her blog. Give her (and her pound cake) some love!

I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little about Lindsay and how awesome she is. I know she would never brag about herself, so I will do it for her. For starters, she is one of the busiest people I know. She and her wonderful husband Taylor run 2 businesses, she runs this blog, she speaks at events like Food Blog Forum and is currently hosting one in her home town of Nashville in October, and she has 3 adorable cats that wreak havoc in her kitchen daily. On top of all of that, she is also working on a top secret project that is leaving her covered in flour at the end of every day. Now don’t start judging her and thinking she is one of those better than you, overachiever types…because she is actually just the opposite. She is one of the most genuine, funny people I have been lucky enough to meet through blogging…but more than that, I am even able to call her my friend. At least, I hope I can…because how embarrassing for me would it be if she didn’t agree? ;-)

So when she asked me if I wanted to do a guest post, I quickly agreed without a second thought. I mean, honestly, I have nothing to do this time of year. It’s summer and I am out of school for the next few months. I could probably clean the house or go through the guest bedroom closet (that you can’t open without flinching)…but where’s the fun in that? I would much rather spend my days laying on the couch in my pjs at 2 in the afternoon worrying about what I could make that would be worthy of sharing with you guys here on Love & Olive Oil.

I had many ideas of what I wanted to make and tried out a few different recipes before deciding to give this pound cake a shot. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the almond and brandy flavors were together. In this recipe, you whip the egg whites until peaks form and then combine it with the rest of the ingredients. Which normally would lead to a fluffy cake, but instead works in place of baking soda or baking powder. You still get the nice, dense, moist pound cake that you would expect, but it allows just the right amount of air into the batter so you don’t find yourself with a brick. This recipe is the perfect canvas for any flavors you can imagine and I know for that reason alone, it will be showing up at my house quite often.

Brandy Almond Pound Cake

Yield: 12 slices

Recipe Note: I know the directions seem a bit long for a simple pound cake, but trust me when I say it's all worth it in the end.

Ingredients:

4 eggs, separated
1¼ cup (8¾ ounces) sugar, divided
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup (6 ounces) cake flour

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer), beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until they form soft mounds. With the mixer on medium-high speed, gradually add ½ cup (3.5 ounces) of sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks. If you’re using a stand mixer and only have one bowl, transfer the egg white mixture to another bowl and rinse and dry the mixer bowl.

Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and add the butter to the mixer bowl (or a large mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer). Beat on medium-low speed until the butter is soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the salt, then, with the mixer running, slowly pour in the remaining ¾ cup (5.25 ounces) sugar. Continue mixing on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the brandy, almond extract and vanilla extract in a small measuring cup. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture. Once the eggs are in, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, then continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.

Sift one-third of the flour over the butter/egg mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour until it’s evenly dispersed but not completely mixed in (as shown in the fourth photo). Add half of the beaten egg whites and continue folding until evenly dispersed. Repeat with another third of the flour, then the rest of the egg whites. Sift the remaining flour into the batter and fold until it’s completely mixed in and there are no pockets of dry flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45-60 minutes. If the top of the cake is getting too dark before the center is baked, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the cake. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then use a thin knife or spatula to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Invert the pan onto the wire rack, then turn it right-side up to continue cooling. Serve the cake at room temperature.

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You know what? This guest posting stuff kinda rocks. I hope you are enjoying it! Today I’ve got something extra special, a delicious pound cake (but not your plain ol’ boring pound cake, this cake is loaded. Literally.) I have been lucky enough to meet up with Jessica of the Novice Chef twice now, and she’s as sweet in person as she seems on her blog. Give her (and her pound cake) some love!

I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little about Lindsay and how awesome she is. I know she would never brag about herself, so I will do it for her. For starters, she is one of the busiest people I know. She and her wonderful husband Taylor run 2 businesses, she runs this blog, she speaks at events like Food Blog Forum and is currently hosting one in her home town of Nashville in October, and she has 3 adorable cats that wreak havoc in her kitchen daily. On top of all of that, she is also working on a top secret project that is leaving her covered in flour at the end of every day. Now don’t start judging her and thinking she is one of those better than you, overachiever types…because she is actually just the opposite. She is one of the most genuine, funny people I have been lucky enough to meet through blogging…but more than that, I am even able to call her my friend. At least, I hope I can…because how embarrassing for me would it be if she didn’t agree? ;-)
So when she asked me if I wanted to do a guest post, I quickly agreed without a second thought. I mean, honestly, I have nothing to do this time of year. It’s summer and I am out of school for the next few months. I could probably clean the house or go through the guest bedroom closet (that you can’t open without flinching)…but where’s the fun in that? I would much rather spend my days laying on the couch in my pjs at 2 in the afternoon worrying about what I could make that would be worthy of sharing with you guys here on Love & Olive Oil.
I had many ideas of what I wanted to make and tried out a few different recipes before deciding to give this pound cake a shot. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the almond and brandy flavors were together. In this recipe, you whip the egg whites until peaks form and then combine it with the rest of the ingredients. Which normally would lead to a fluffy cake, but instead works in place of baking soda or baking powder. You still get the nice, dense, moist pound cake that you would expect, but it allows just the right amount of air into the batter so you don’t find yourself with a brick. This recipe is the perfect canvas for any flavors you can imagine and I know for that reason alone, it will be showing up at my house quite often.

Brandy Almond Pound Cake

Yield: 12 slices

Recipe Note: I know the directions seem a bit long for a simple pound cake, but trust me when I say it's all worth it in the end.

Ingredients:

4 eggs, separated
1¼ cup (8¾ ounces) sugar, divided
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup (6 ounces) cake flour

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer), beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until they form soft mounds. With the mixer on medium-high speed, gradually add ½ cup (3.5 ounces) of sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks. If you’re using a stand mixer and only have one bowl, transfer the egg white mixture to another bowl and rinse and dry the mixer bowl.

Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and add the butter to the mixer bowl (or a large mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer). Beat on medium-low speed until the butter is soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the salt, then, with the mixer running, slowly pour in the remaining ¾ cup (5.25 ounces) sugar. Continue mixing on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the brandy, almond extract and vanilla extract in a small measuring cup. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture. Once the eggs are in, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, then continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.

Sift one-third of the flour over the butter/egg mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour until it’s evenly dispersed but not completely mixed in (as shown in the fourth photo). Add half of the beaten egg whites and continue folding until evenly dispersed. Repeat with another third of the flour, then the rest of the egg whites. Sift the remaining flour into the batter and fold until it’s completely mixed in and there are no pockets of dry flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45-60 minutes. If the top of the cake is getting too dark before the center is baked, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the cake. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then use a thin knife or spatula to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Invert the pan onto the wire rack, then turn it right-side up to continue cooling. Serve the cake at room temperature.


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