Saturday, 17 March 2018

Baking Eggless Challenge #5: Eggless Orange Fruit n Nut Pound Cake

Hii friends! For our Eggless Challenge this month, Gayathri gave us a Pound Cake we all know what a Pound cake is. The main characteristic of a Pound cake is its dense and tight crumbs and rich taste and texture. Getting the same tight crumbs and dense texture, without the cake being heavy and doughy, is a real challenge. All the egg substitutes I tried to replicate the egg based pound cake texture, didn't really satisfy me. They either turned spongy or had a different taste profile...unlike a pound cake. I tried and experimented to my heart's content with every possible thing, and finally had my Eureka moment when I hit on this one...quite accidentally!! The credit for this month's egg-free recipe goes to my was while browsing the nutrition analysis of various diets to feed her that the thought of using Nuts as egg substitute struck me...and you can see the result! I am really really satisfied with the taste as well as the texture. This cake wins hands down on all the points. Dense and tight, yet light and moist...and definitely as rich as a pound cake should be...yay!!!! we have a Winner here...

I am sure many of you will get my feeling right now....the way we feel when our hard work pays off!! right?!!

Not only is the cake is suuuper easy to whip kind of thing! Don't you love them...less cleaning to do (how we all haaaateee that!!)

How I went about that substitution: Technically speaking, 1 Large egg weighs around 60 grams (approx. +/-) comprising 75% of its weight as water, 12% fat and 13% protein. It plays many roles in baking viz. leavening, emulsifying, binding, adding liquids etc. For the purpose of this post, we will concentrate on its role in Pound cake. It is mainly used for all the three specified above...leavening, binding as well as emulsification. Emulsification is the process by which Fats and Liquids, 2 insoluble objects, are held together making a baked good moist and soft. Nuts are an extremely good and nutritious source of fat and protein, as well as nature's best emulsifiers. 60 grams of Cashews contain 11 grams of protein😲😲!!....phewww!! (DISCLAIMER: I am no nutritional expert...all this is what I have gathered from my voracious reading of books, internet and chit-chats).
The original recipe contained 4 eggs. A one-on-one substitution of anything is never advisable...baking is actually science, not maths😉😆...lolsss! Too much of nuts could have made my cake not only dense, but a flat pancake as well with no rising. I love oranges and had a few lying around. So to lighten the texture a bit and add the required acidity, I used Orange Juice. This also helped mask the cashew taste as well...not that I would have complained (love cashews equally!!) but something citrusy never hurts, right?! The cake doesn't taste of cashews at all...and nobody would ever know until you tell them.
The addition of chopped dried cranberries, prunes, blueberries and inca berries, alongwith some chocolate chips folded in, adds a nice contrast and chew to the taste and texture. However, it is entirely optional, if u prefer a plain ol' pound cake any day, just omit them. Let's hop off to the recipe.....

Challenge Announcement: here
Original Recipe: link here
Pre-preparation: 1. Pre-heat your oven to 170℃;
                         2. Grease and line your 2 lb Loaf Pan (mine is 9"X5.5"X3").
(My 1 cup = 237 ml/8 oz.)
45 gm Whole unroasted Cashew Nuts (1/3 cup), soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes)
230 gm All-purpose Flour (2 Cups, spooned and levelled)
170 ml Whole Milk, divided into 70 ml and 100 ml (3/4 Cup total, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
60 ml freshly squeezed Orange Juice (1/4 Cup)
150 gm Castor Sugar (3/4 Cup)
55 gm Unsalted Butter (1/4 Cup), measured at room temperature and melted thereafter
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
a small pinch of salt (scant 1/8 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon/aniseed
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup chopped dried mixed berries
2 Tablespoons Chocolate chips

1. Drain the pre-soaked cashews of their water and blend it to a fine paste along with above divided 70 ml (1/4 cup) Milk.
2. Sift together Flour with baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and ground Cinnamon/Aniseed. Rub zest into the sugar till fragrant.
3. Add in Sugar, melted butter, remaining Milk, Orange Juice, Extract to the cashew paste and blend nicely till uniform.
4. Fold in the flour mix into the above liquids and incorporate with light hands till fully incorporated.
5. Fold into the batter, chopped berries and chocolate chips.
6. The batter will be very thick. It will have to be spooned into your loaf pan. Fill your pan upto 3/4th level, cake almost doubles during baking.
7. Pop into the pre-heated oven and bake at 170℃ for 50-60 minutes, duration depending on your oven. Check with a skewer at 50 minutes. The cake is done when the skewer comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Mine got done at 58 minutes.
8. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then take it out and wrap it in a tea-towel and cool to room temperature.
9. Slice the cake only when completely cool.

1. If you don't have whole cashews, you can substitute with Fine or Smooth Cashew Butter. Measure will be 3 Tablespoons+2 teaspoons cashew butter instead of 1/3 cup whole cashews.
2. If you want a plain Pound cake, substitute 1/4 cup Orange juice with 1/4 cup sour cream/Buttermilk.
3. If your oven is too hot or has hotspots/uneven temperature, bake your cake at 160℃ and cover the top of the pan with parchment paper.
4. Wrapping the cake in tea-towel after taking it out of the pan is essential to keep it moist. It can dry out if left open. Please don't skip this step.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know your feedback...till then Happy Baking...byeee...


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