Flour…on its own, it’s an ordinary ingredient. Likewise, there’s nothing special about a cup of sugar, a few eggs, or a stick of butter. But together, these seemingly pedestrian ingredients form the foundation of the … world of baking – Johann Chang.
Sweetened Condensed Milk tastes soooo good – we Malayalis use it quite a lot – in our payasams for that distinct caramelised milk flavour, in frozen treats ,in puddings, in oats – and of course, in cake too.
Sweetened Condensed Milk ”.. is made by adding sugar to milk and then evaporating much of the water from it until the sugar content is about 55 percent. The high sugar concentration gives it the resulting thick, syrupy consistency. The cans keep for a long time at room temperature so it is used in tropical climates without refrigeration.”
Ok, so that explains why it is so widely used around here. Plus it is delicious.
If you are hard pressed for time and still want to bake a cake, this is it. Like how Chef Pichet says, “This pound cake is a luxurious homage to that treat.”
Hope you enjoy.
1 cup (8 ounces/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 and 1⁄3 cups (7 ounces/200 grams) all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 cup (33⁄4 ounces/106 grams) sugar
1 vanilla bean, chopped, or 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup (81⁄2 ounces/239 grams) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter an 81⁄2 × 41⁄2-inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
3. Put the sugar and the chopped vanilla bean, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the vanilla bean is finely ground. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve and return the sugar mixture to the food processor. If not using the vanilla bean, just put the sugar in the processor.
4. Add the butter and salt and process until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
Add the condensed milk and pulse until well incorporated, about 15 times, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the sifted dry ingredients and pulse until no traces of flour remain, about 10 times. Add the eggs and pulse just until combined, about 5 times. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, if using, and finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the eggs.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely in the loaf pan on a rack, then unmold.
CHEF’S TIP: This pound cake keeps well, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 week at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer.