Pound Cake and Panade #MyParisKitchen {CtBF}

The end of the year is coming fast, and November has been crazy!  I had a quick visit to Philadelphia to meet up with my sisters for a happy family event.  We packed in the activities, as we always do.  Our mother was not one to sit still, and she trained us to be the same way.

Me with My Sisters

I really like cake, plain simple unfrosted cakes.  I could take or leave birthday cakes or other layered cakes, but I always enjoy a pound cake, a Bundt cake, or any kind of one layer cake.  A simple glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar makes them complete, no fussing required.  For Howard, I think it’s all about the frosting as he never gets excited when I make a cake, so they are usually relegated to occasions where I’m having just my friends over or bake something to bring somewhere else.

My favorite bakery cake is the Vanilla Bean Pound Cake made by Hi-Rise Bakery in Cambridge.  They are regulars at the Lexington Farmers’ Market and, in season, I treat myself to a slice about once a month.  The genius of their cake is that it’s soaked in vanilla-infused simple syrup, making the outside crust magical.  Eating an end piece with its extra crust is just heaven. I’ve never made it myself, but here’s the recipe.

Right before I left, I made David Lebovitz’s Bay Leaf Pound Cake, the first November challenge recipe for Cook the Book Fridays.  I did NOT need a whole cake.  I had nowhere to bring it that week.  So, I minified it.  I made one-third of the recipe (dividing by the eggs, of course) to fill one small loaf pan – a personal pound cake.

This cake is a little different than a traditional pound cake recipe because rather than creaming the butter, the butter is melted.  In this case, the butter is then infused with bay leaves to add some depth of flavor.  A couple of bay leaves are also set on the bottom of the pan to add more bay flavoring.

“Line of Creamed Butter”

We are also instructed to squeeze a line of soft butter on top of the cake to enhance a decorative crack.  It could be because of my smaller pan, but that didn’t happen on my cake.

Uncracked Cake

The final touch was an orange glaze.  The cake’s predominant flavor was orange.  Even with the infused butter and extra leaves, I didn’t notice the bay flavoring at all.  Overall, this was a lovely cake, small enough for me to eat a daily slice for a few days.  It wasn’t interesting enough to make again, though I did enjoy it while it lasted.

The second recipe for Cook the Book Fridays is Panade de Butternut (Butternut Squash Bread Soup).  To read the C&C (comments and concerns) post for this recipe, it wasn’t getting a lot of love, so I was a bit wary.

The recipe took a bit of advanced planning.  David recommends homemade stock for this one.  We were finishing up a whole chicken, so that was easy enough with a carcass on hand.  I’ve been making stock in the slow cooker for the past few years which is so simple.  Sourdough bread was also required.  My sourdough starter needed a workout this week, so I managed to bake my own loaf to use.  Stock?  Check!  Bread? Check!  I was ready to go.

Homemade Sourdough

This panade is a layering of caramelized onions, toasted sourdough bread, sliced butternut squash, chopped thyme and sage, and grated cheese doused with the homemade chicken stock.  I halved the recipe for our household.  I must have sliced the bread too thickly because there wasn’t nearly enough to fully cover the pan for even two layers, and the recipe called for three.  That means I had three layers of squash and just two of bread, which was fine.

Soup? Bread Pudding? Casserole? Whatever… Delicious!

As the panade baked, the bread absorbed all the stock, so the result was more like bread pudding than soup.  It also reminded me of a lighter version of the filling for a stuffed pumpkin I’ve made. Whatever it was, it was delicious!  All the flavors of fall combined into one hearty dish.  It would be a wonderful alternative to stuffing for the Thanksgiving table.  On the downside, if I’m being honest, even though I really liked it, in my opinion, it was a lot more work than it was worth.

Judge for yourself!  Recipes for both the pound cake (page 296) and the panade (page 163) can be found in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.  My friends from Cook the Book Fridays made these too.  You can find their reviews for the cake here and the panade here.

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Posted on 16 November 2018, in Autumn, Baking, bread, Cook The Book Fridays, my paris kitchen, Soup and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I went rogue on the assembly of this dish to accommodate different diets in my household, but I would love to try the layered version (if someone else would make it for me!). For the cake, I froze a bunch of extra slices because like you, I did not need a whole cake to myself.

  2. Fall flavors layered in one hearty dish is a beautiful description for this dish. Who can say no to a simple pound cake. You’ve perfectly captured the essence of these two.

  3. All those recipes look wonderful, including the sour dough bread.I can imagine the smells in the kitchen when you are baking that. As for the bread soup, we enjoyed it but it does take a lot of time to prepare. The bay leaf cake is a complete winner here, I have made it a total of three times and everyone loves it.

  4. Both your cake and panade look great, but like you, if a recipe is a lot of effort, I either expect the wow factor or I won’t make it.

  5. First of all, I LOVE the mini cake :) I have three personal loaf cake tins that I love to use for things like this too – they are so cute and just the right size if you don’t need a whole cake. Perfect!

    Secondly, it’s amazing to me how different everyone’s squash dishes look. I love the look of yours – more like a lasagne. Had mine been more like bread budding I might have liked it more (though I am not a fan of the bread pudding I can see how this would work). Unfortunately my (not homemade) sourdough loaf just turned horribly gluey :(

  6. Both of these recipes look great, Betsy, and your experiences mirror ours as well: tasty, but more work than they’re worth. I’m so glad that the panade is delicious though!

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