Mark Bittman bakes a poundcake with fantastic consistency and flavor.
Time: About 1 1/2 hours, plus 30 minutes’ resting
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for pan
Flour for pan
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
7-ounce tube almond paste
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-cup Bundt pan. Put lemon juice, orange juice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
2. Put almond paste and remaining 2 cups sugar in food processor and process until well combined; add butter and continue processing until light and fluffy. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time along with zest and vanilla, and continue to process until smooth.
3. Stop the machine, add the flour, baking powder and salt, and pulse a few times — just until the dry ingredients are integrated (be careful not to over process, or the cake will become tough). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. When a skewer or thin-bladed knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly.
4. Pour the citrus soak over the cake and let it sit for about 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the cake releases from the pan easily. Cut into slices.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.