I knew home baking was starting to become popular in Korea, but I had no idea it had become such a big trend. I realized this when I went to a bookstore last week and found dozens and dozens of books devoted to the art of baking. Everything from cutesy cupcake books to healthy vegan alternatives, I was really surprised and delighted to find such a large variety. I was tempted to buy a few of them, but I decided to fight my book glutton instinct and just buy one.
It took me literally days to narrow down to one. I left the bookstore and returned a couple of days later when my head was cleared. I decided on the book that looked most comprehensive and easy to follow. I’m glad I bought this one despite the fact that this pound cake was dry and disappointing. When I imagine pound cake, I imagine a thick slice of dense but soft cake. Moist, slightly spongey, with a browned but smooth top, this is what pound cake is to me. This one was none of the above. It tasted like a dry loaf cake with a bit of a crumb. However, the flavors blended well and the vanilla hazelnut fragrance was subtle, but definitely noticeable.
The oddest thing about the pound cake was that the inside was hollow. I made two small loaves, and both of them were empty inside. I’m not sure what caused a gigantic bubble to form, but it may have been the baking powder I was using, or the way I mixed all the ingredients. I don’t remember doing anything differently, but I must have because this is unusual behavior!
I don’t think this is a bad recipe and I definitely won’t be judging the whole book upon this one try. I just think a few things need to be tweaked. Pound cakes are dense, but still moist, I would definitely up the liquid content by either adding some milk or adding more water when steeping the tea.
Vanilla Hazelnut Pound Cake
Adapted from 홈베이킹 백과사전
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tea bags, vanilla hazelnut or tea of choice
4 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan, size of choice.
Cut open tea bags and empty contents into small bowl. Pour hot water over and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time. Sift flour and baking powder into mixture and combine. Pour all tea contents into batter and mix together. Pour into butter loaf pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes if using small loaf pans, or 30-35 minutes if using larger, standard sized pan, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool and serve.