Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Vanilla bean

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan using a paper towel to spread the butter evenly.  In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat together butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed (I use setting 4 on KitchenAid mixer) until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla and lemon extract until well combined. At low speed (“stir” setting on KitchenAid mixer) add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until the tip of a knife or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.

 

Vanilla Bean Glaze

Ingredients

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped OR 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste – 4 oz

2-3 tablespoons whole milk

approximately 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into whole milk. Let sit in a spouted container, such as a large pyrex measuring cup, for about an hour. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually, whisking, until you get desired consistency–about 1 cup. You want to make sure that it’s not too runny, or it won’t dry white on the cake, and will run off too quickly. It should take a few seconds to whisk it, and it will feel too thick at first–keep whisking until you get desired thickness. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of the vanilla milk.

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top.

 

Adapted from: Sweetapolita (http://sweetapolita.com/2011/03/vanilla-bean-bundt-cake-with-vanilla-bean-glaze/)

 

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Rosemary Scented Pork Loin Stuffed With Roasted Garlic, Dried Apricots and Cranberries and Port Wine Pan Sauce

 

I made this dish for a cooking competition and it got me to the 4th round!  If you opt to roast a smaller portion rather than a whole pork loin, select the more flavorful rib end. A 4-pound roast will serve 8. Also make sure to adjust your cooking time so the meat won’t over cook.

 

Ingredients (16 servings):

 

3 tablespoons olive oil

16 whole peeled garlic cloves

2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves

1 (8 pound) whole boneless pork loin, patted dry, at room temperature

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (snip with scissors), divided

16 dried apricots (or similar amount of your favorite dried fruit)

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Heavy kitchen string or twine

1/4 cup apple jelly

1/4 cup port

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons apple jelly

2 teaspoons cornstarch

 

Directions

 

‎1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add whole garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; reserve oil.

2. Turn pork loin fat-side down. Slit lengthwise, almost but not quite all the way through, to form a long pocket, leaving a 1/2-inch border of unslit meat at each end. Brush cavity with some of the reserved garlic cooking oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and 1 Tb. of the rosemary. Line cavity with sauteed garlic and apricots; sprinkle in cranberries. Tie loin together with kitchen twine or heavy-duty string at 1 1/2-inch intervals.

3. Brush with remaining oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set roast, fat-side up, diagonally or curved (so it fits) on a large, lipped cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. Warm 1/4 cup apple jelly along with the minced garlic and remaining rosemary. Brush mixture onto meat.

4. Roast until a meat thermometer stuck into the center registers 125 to 130 degrees. (Start checking at about 1 1/2 hours.) Remove from oven; raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush loin with pan drippings, return to oven, and continue to roast until the loin is golden brown and a meat thermometer stuck into the center registers 155 to 160 degrees, about 20 minutes longer. For even more attractive coloring, broil until spotty brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Let roast rest 15 to 20 minutes; transfer to a carving board. Stir juices around pan to loosen brown bits. Pour through a strainer into a small pan, and stir in port, chicken broth and remaining 2 Tbs. of jelly; bring to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of cold water; whisk into sauce. Simmer until lightly thickened. Slice pork and serve with a little sauce.

 

Adapted from: Allrecipes

 

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