As I have said I am on a tight food budget. So I am always looking for way to make my recipes a bit more, without breaking the bank. I do this is by looking for new ways to use inexpensive ingredients. Semolina flour is one of my favorite tricks. It adds a softer texture then cornmeal or polenta but a bit more then white flour. I use it a lot in my baking.
Pound cake is one of my favorite cakes. I love a dense but moist, fine crumb cake. I am a lazy cook and baking has been good for me because it has made me slow down and not take shortcuts. I have found some rules are really important.
First soften the butter. I mean really soft. It will in the long run save you a lot of work. You are going to be scraping down the sides of the bowl. The softer the butter, the easier it is to do. You will not be fighting your batter so much.
Second really let your mixer do your work for you. You want to cream that butter and sugar, so it is all nice and fluffy. This will make a big difference in you crumb. So let the mixer go the full 3 minutes (instead of for a minute on as high and say that is good enough, like I use to do :)
Lastly about scraping down the bowl, I know it is a hassle but you really want all that butter well incorporated into your batter. So just do it. You will be glad you did. I promise.
Pound cake is really easy, just a lot of little steps. Once you have done it, it will not be a big deal. Remember it is better to have a small slice of something amazing, then a whole lot of nothing.
Semolina Pound Cake with Dried Cherries
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 pound (two sticks) of softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
zest of a small lemon
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup dried cherries or any dried fruit
Pre-heat oven to 325 ◦F
Butter and flour bunt or loaf pan.
Sift together flours, soda and salt and set aside.
In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium.
Add zest and vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with each egg.
On low speed, mix in one-third of the flour mixture until flour is just incorporated. Mix in half of the yogurt. Repeat, ending with last third of the flour until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is light golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
This is perfect for tea, dessert, breakfast or just because.