This week's schedule: shower study eat. repeat. It's not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it's pretty normal for second year students. The real meat of our doctor training starts next year, when we start clinicals. For now, I'll settle down at a desk and study away. Most days, I study with a little music in the background. Actually, scratch that, pretty much all day I am listening to something, from my morning workout to straightening my hair to sitting at the desk to cooking in the kitchen. Probably singing along with some of the tunes (if I know the words, confession, I'm awful at that), or dancing around by myself like no one's watching (but really, no one's watching and that's probably a good thing).
So yesterday when I baked up this strawberry almond pound cake, you can bet I had my Spotify on. And lately I've been listening to the soundtrack of Whiplash, a movie about a student in a top jazz school who wants to become the next great drummer. Jazzzzzz. It's addicting. It's fun, the beats are sick, in a non-Tswifty way. It brought me back to my high school days when I wouldn't stop listening to Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts with my bff Sean and trying to learn the 12 bar blues. It's a great mix up for my daily music.
So this cake here, it's got a super light texture, has a hint of almond, and isn't too sweet. Which is perfect for the strawberry jam swirl, giving you little pops of sweetness when you eat the swirly parts. I topped mine with some simple whipped cream and fresh strawberries, but I imagine that it would also taste great if you added more strawberry jam on top for an added punch. Or eat it for breakfast plain with a black coffee. I like to think of this pound cake as the smooth element of jazz, with the coffee being the upbeat tempos and funky rhythms. Okay, maybe I'm just trying to justify eating cake for breakfast. Whatever.
Recipe is below, and happy Thursday friends!
Strawberry swirl almond pound cake
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch) loaf pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.
Cream the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until well incorporated.
Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Remove about 1/3 of the batter and place it into a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup of strawberry jam to the medium bowl, and mix it into the batter until well incorporated (it will look pink-ish).
Distribute half of the regular batter (the one without the jam) to the bottom of your 2 loaf pans. Then distribute the strawberry batter between the 2 loaf pans. Take a chopstick or a knife and swirl the strawberry batter a few times. Then, add the remaining regular batter to the loaf pans. Swirl the batter once more.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. I like to make a tent of aluminum foil to lightly cover the tops of the cake at around the 35 minute mark, just to prevent the tops from getting too brown. I then remove the tent at around the 50 minute mark so that they can brown up a little before the cake is done.
Serve however you want, and enjoy!