I caught my first glimpse of this pound cake on Caitlin's blog, Engineer Baker. It caught my attention, and it remained in the back of my mind. Then Tracey made it, and it moved a little more to the front of my mind. Then, I was contacted by someone I grew up with, who works for a company based in my home town called Heavenly Organics. They produce very high quality, incredibly delicious USDA certified organic sugar, honey, and sweetened condensed milk, all of which I highly recommend. He called to ask if I might know anyone in Asheville who would like to bake some treats with his company's products, then do a tasting at a local foods store, and get paid for it. Did I know someone!
A week later I received a box in the mail with 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk, 2 bags of sugar and 6 jars of honey. If only the mailman brought me such things every day. Also included in the box were recipe cards for shortbread, pumpkin pie and coconut macaroons. I looked through the recipes, trying to decide what to make for my tasting. I love shortbread, so I tried that recipe first. And I severely disliked it. It was too greasy, and even after baking it for a full 15 minutes past the suggested baking time, it was chewy. Not good. Not something I would serve anyone, certainly not something I would have admitted to making.
After my shortbread disappointment, I didn't trust the recipe cards I was sent, so I had to look for other treats that would showcase the ingredients Heavenly Organics makes. The condensed milk pound cake immediately came to mind.
Putting it together was a breeze. The recipe as written calls for a food processor, and believe it or not I don't have one. At least I don't have a large one. So I used my stand mixer and it worked perfectly. The batter was gorgeous - thick and glossy and smooth and creamy. I couldn't wait for the final result.
This pound cake is unbelievable. The crumb is tight, it is buttery without being greasy, it is not eggy tasting at all, the flavor of the sweetened condensed milk is not in your face, but it is there, and it is lovely. The edges of the cake are crunchy and almost candy-like. I cannot think of one thing about this pound cake that I don't like. There is no way I could change it to make it better. It is just wonderful.
Condensed Milk Pound Cake
adapted (in method) from The Sweet Spot: Asian Inspired Desserts by Pichet Ong & Genevieve Ko
2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups (7oz) unbleached white flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (8 1/2 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add condensed milk and mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients, mixing just until all of the flour disappears into the mixture. Add eggs, mixing until combined. Stir in vanilla extract. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 70 - 80 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of your pound cake looks like it's browning too quickly, place a foil tent over it for the remainder of its time in the oven.
Please go make this now, you won't be sorry you did.
I should also tell you about the tasting! I took this pound cake, coconut macaroons from the recipe provided by Heavenly Organics (they were delicious, but I took no pictures, so I'll have to make them again so I can share them with you), Twice Baked Shortbread from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich (basically this shortbread without the brown butter), and a bowl of homemade dulce de leche which I will photograph and post soon. It was a lot of fun, and I'm excited to be doing another one in a few days.