Copycat Sara Lee Pound Cake

Recently, my spouse and son got hooked on to Sara Lee cakes again.  I just to admit, Sara Lee cakes are really nice when I'm not a baker. But since I started baking, I find the cake sweet and looking at the ingredients, it doesn't sound too healthy isn't it? So I searched for a similar recipe and found from this site. It looked easy to attempt. However, my pound cake didn't yield the exact same look as hers. I wondered how to achieve the dense, no-holes look. However, the taste was nice and dense. Fortunately, my hubby likes it.
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Recipe for Copycat Sara Lee Pound Cake, adapted from Copykat.
(Makes a regular loaf)

Ingredients: 

113g Unsalted butter, softened

120g Caster sugar
3 Eggs

137g Cake flour
15g Dry powdered milk
10g Corn syrup
juice of half a small lemon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Baking powder

Method:
  1. Allow butter to reach room temperature. 
  2. Cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  
  4. Add in flour, powdered milk, baking powder, and corn syrup. Beat each in well.  Add juice of half a lemon, salt and vanilla. Make sure everything is well blended, and pour into a greased loaf pan.  
  5. Bake at 170C for 45 minutes, checking for done-ness by inserting a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean. You almost want to under bake this.
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Walnut Butter Cake

cake_walnutbutter04 A sudden craving to eat Walnut Butter Cake prompted me to bake one. This butter cake is light and buttery. Even though it took a few more additional steps because of it's method, I think it's really worth it as it creates a light cake. This will be a keeper for me.

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Recipe for Walnut Butter Cake, adapted from Domestic Goddess Wannabe.
(Makes a 8" round cake)

Ingredients:
250g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
4 Egg yolks
80g Caster sugar
180g Self-raising flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
70g Walnuts, toasted and ground
60g Whole milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
4 Egg whites
70g caster sugar
1 tsp Corn flour
Some chopped walnuts for topping (approx. 30g)

Method:
1. Mix ground walnuts, salt and flour together. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy.
3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients and milk in the sequence flour-milk-flour. Mix until the flour is just incorporated. Set this aside.
5. In another clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
6. Add the corn flour in the sugar and mix well. Then gradually add the sugar, whisking all the while until stiff peaks form.
7. Transfer 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. Fold well with a spatula.
8. Gently fold in the remaining meringue in 2 batches, until no white streaks remain.
9. Pour the batter into a lined 8" round pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle some walnuts on top.
10. Bake at 170°C for 45 mins. (I bake mine at 160C for 50mins on the 3rd rack.)
11. When the cake is done, (insert a skewer it the cake and if it emerges cleanly it is done), let the cake rest for 5 minutes in the pan before carefully transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. (I overturned my cake and let it cool completely before unmoulding.)
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Pandan Buns

It has been a while since I updated my blog. For the past two months, I had been really busy and lazy. My helper had gone back for her home leave during the one month school holiday. On top of it, I was hospitalised for a couple of days due to colon inflammation. It wasn't a "productive" month for me in terms of cooking and baking. I have since recovered and have resumed my normal activities. Life has resumed since my helper is back, school has started and work continues.

My friend passed me some of her organic homegrown pandan leaves a while ago. Luckily, her leaves survived well in my fridge. I was able to extract them and made them into Pandan Buns. The kitchen was very fragrant when it was baking. The buns were soft and fluffy, but not light though. 

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Recipe for Pandan Buns, modified from Super Soft Bread from Victoria Bakes.

(Makes 17 regular buns)

Ingredients:

520g Bread flour
6g Instant dry yeast
380g Hydration (28g pandan extract + 25g coconut cream + 140g whipping cream and topped up the rest with full cream milk)
60g Caster sugar
4g Fine salt
65g butter

Method:


1. Mix all ingredients, except butter, together and knead till you get a silky and elastic dough. Approximately 3 mins on low speed.

2. Incorporate butter and knead till window pane stage (crucial). Approximately 8mins on medium-high speed. Test for window pane.
3. Let the dough rest for 15mins on the table top, covered with a cloth or cling wrap.
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4. Weigh each dough to be 62g (approximately 60-62g). It will yield about 17 pieces.
5. Shape it round, and placed in a tray pan, spacing them out.
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6. Let it proof for about 45mins. 
7. At 45th mins, pre-heat oven to 170C.
8. Meanwhile, brush the dough with milk.
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9. When the oven is ready, about 15mins later, bake in the lower rack for 16mins, tenting the bread if needed during the last 2 mins.

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Serve with kaya or just simply eat it plain.
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