I woke up early this morning. Trying hard to go back to sleep, I finally surrendered and quietly sneaked out of bed.
I wasn’t quiet enough and seconds later my youngest tagged along and we went down to the kitchen. Has it something to do with age, this waking up early and feeling rather ready to start a new day? To my surprise as the total night owl I am, I actually enjoy the silent – ok, the sound of only one kid – moments, watching the sun rise from the kitchen window as I zip my coffee. And have you also had the feeling, in the morning when a whole day lies in front of you, that you can accomplish just about anything. Everything seems possible and I’m a super hero. Oh, I just I love that. Even if I know that reality will kick in round about lunch and I realize I will probably not – again – get the million of things done on the to-do-list. And that’s ok.
Speaking of which, these early bird mornings are perfect to whip up a classic pound cake. As I’ve written before, I’m a huge fan of all things vintage, especially clothing and cook books. I was super thrilled when my mother-in-law gave me a pile of old recipes, collected by her mother in the 70s and 80s. Going through the recipes I discovered that some of the pages actually was from the classic baking book Sju sorters kakor (in english: “Seven Kinds of Cookies”) from 1945. That is, the actual edition from 1945! This book is one of the most popular collections in Sweden and has been reprinted and edited several times throughout the years. In 1945 the swedish book publishing company Ica Bokförlag held a cookie and cake recipe competition which resulted in 8000 entries. The best recipes where then published collectively. Having the original recipes at my hand is very, very special and means a lot. After organizing the papers I estimated that I had maybe 95% of the book left with the cover also missing.
Today’s recipe is a classic pound cake which I loved to make when I was a little girl. In swedish its called “tiger pound cake” as in the animal “tiger”because of its striped appearance. I guess this is what you in America and in the UK call Chocolate Marble Cake. You can use different techniques in mixing the batter for a pound cake. The creaming method is when you cream soft butter with sugar until aerated and light, before adding eggs in additions. When you mix fat and sugar like this, the sugar granules cuts tiny wholes into fat which allows air to softens it and thus letting it increase in size. This method will give you a tender cake and chewy cookies. For this recipe, I’ve used the separation-foaming method, where the egg yolks are whipped separately with the sugar and the whites are whipped to a foam and incorporated last. This creates a light but still “silky” texture due to the butter.
I’ve added candied orange peel after being inspired of another similar recipe of the Tiger Pound Cake, but you can leave this out if you want to. However, t gives a little extra shazam to the cake Since my mother had going through the trouble of eating a lot of organic oranges last winter, in order to make this treat, I thought this was a great opportunity to put them into use.
Tiger Pound Cake
Use preferably organic ingredients. The cake pan should be adequate for 1.5 litre/6.3 cups of batter.
200g/7 oz. butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs, separated
230g/8.1 oz. raw granulated sugar
150g/5.2 oz. heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract (or for a little more bling, add the seeds from 1/2–1 vanilla bean)
80–100g/2.8–3.5 oz. candied orange peel, chopped into tiny pieces
230g/8.1 oz. plain flour
2,5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
5 tsp of cocoa
- Whipp egg yolks and sugar until aerated and light on high speed.
- Add the cream and vanilla extract and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix chopped orange peel, flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mix to the batter and fold carefully until incorporated.
- Whip egg whites until soft peaks. Fold into batter.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter in a bowl and mix with the cocoa.
- Pour the vanilla batter into a greased pound cake pan, before adding the chocolate batter on top.
- With a fork, swirl around the batter to create a marbled pattern, but don’t mix too much.
- Bake in 175C/350F for 35–40 minutes (depending on pan size; I used a deep retro styled pan that called for longer baking) or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool completely before serving with a strong cup of Earl Grey.
Updated October 10th: Correction of the recipe regarding the whipped egg whites, see above.