I hit the jackpot last week! The used bookstore at our library had a stack of Cook's Country magazines for fifty cents each. I love these magazines but find the five dollar price tag too much to pay. But at fifty cents? Hello! I picked up the last year's worth and spent last weekend flipping through them and trying a few recipes along the way. On Monday I picked up another year's worth and went back yesterday and picked up more.
Cook's Country is a sister publication to Cook's Illustrated and both are written by the same people that run America's Test Kitchen. I like Cook's Illustrated but prefer Cook's Country because it is a little less technical and features a lot of quick recipes along with reworking traditional recipes. I've already made five recipes from my found treasure and they have all been easy and delicious.
The only recipe I have had time to properly photograph is this 7 Up Cake. I've never had a 7 Up Cake and was intrigued by it. Bright citrus flavors also seemed like the perfect antidote to the icy cold we have been dealing with for the last few weeks.
The recipe is a fairly traditional pound cake; however, the test kitchen (as they will now be referred to) uses melted butter in acidic cake batters to help keep the cake tender. They also recommend using a food processor instead of a mixer. This technique works great and makes this cake a cinch to put together. The citrus flavor of the soda is amped up by the addition of zest and juice from lemons and limes. The star ingredient and namesake of the cake, 7 Up, tenderizes the cake and the carbonated water lifts. After baking and cooling, a simple glaze is made with confectioner's sugar and lemon and lime juices.
How was it? A little sunshine on a plate to chase away old man winter! My husband thought it was too dry, and that may have been my fault (some of the butter didn't make it into the food processor, my cake flour was a bit past its prime, and I baked it a few minutes too long) but I felt like it was a great cake.
This will definately not be the last you will see of Cook's Country recipes here at Candy Girl!
7UP Pound Cake
Cook's Country June/July 2010
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup 7UP, room temperature (Cook’s notes that Spite, Mountain Dew and ginger ale also work, but not Fresca)
1 tablespoon grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup non-stick tube pan. Process sugar, eggs, 7UP, lemon zest and juice, lime zest and juice, and salt in food processor until smooth. With machine running, slowly pour in butter and process until incorporated. Transfer to large bowl. Add flour in three additions, whisking until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Gently tap pan on counter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 75-90 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack set inside rimmed baked sheet to cool completely, about 2 hours.
Whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and lime juice in bowl until smooth. Pour glaze over cooled cake. Let glaze set 10 minutes. Serve. (Cake can be wrapped in plastic and held at room temperature for 3 days.)