Recently I’ve been reading The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a gift from my sister-in-law’s family. I had tons of a strawberry-raspberry compote (or something) left over from serving a vegan French toast breakfast for 6 yesterday morning, so I decided to try baking the first recipe in the book – her perfect pound cake – and it also gave me an excuse to use some vanilla beans so I could finally post a tutorial on how to make your own vanilla extract. I won’t repost the recipe in its entirety here, but instead encourage you to buy the book – it’s really quite educational and teaches you a lot of cake baking technique that applies across recipes.
Mine wasn’t quite perfect, as I baked it a smidge too long (even on the lowest baking time) and the outside crust is too thick, but the inside texture is absolutely flawless and it is killer with the berry compote. I used double the vanilla beans Ms. Beranbaum recommends, but I really wanted those pods to make homemade vanilla extract, plus I love vanilla. The photos below show my too-thick crust, the tasty vanilla beans up close, and that the “perfect pound cake” is dusted with powdered sugar. It makes an awesome afternoon snack.