I imagine when a fashionista buys a Prada outfit or a Givenchy dress, they are supremely confident in the knowledge that they are going to look their best in them. It's the same for me when I cook with top quality ingredients, I know that the end result will be the best it can be. Fresh eggs from my hens, the best sticky vanilla beans, blood oranges and Meyer lemons from my Dads trees, "00" flour, Danish butter and Rapadura sugar... The thing is, I don't want Coco Chanel, I just want cocoa.
NOTE: Having shown-off with all of my highfalutin food-stuffs, I realise that not every one has access to them. You can use dark brown sugar in place of the rapadura sugar and normal oranges and lemons in place of the blood oranges and Meyer lemons. Buy the best you can afford and cook it with love.
Sugar-Crusted Vanilla Pound Cake
from Gourmet Traveller
For the Cake:
250g softened unsalted butter
125g each caster sugar and rapadura sugar
Finely grated rind of 1 blood orange and 1 Meyer lemon (juices reserved for sugar crust)
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
4 eggs, at room temperature
250g plain flour, sieved
2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Sugar Crust:
Juice of 1 blood orange and 1 Meyer lemon
60g rapadura sugar
40g caster sugar
For the Crushed Strawberry Cream:
80 gm strawberries, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons rapadura sugar
400 gm crème fraîche
Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 170C.
Beat butter, sugars, rinds and vanilla in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (5-6 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in flour and baking powder. Spoon into an 8.5cm x 22cm loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top. Bake until golden and cooked through (45 minutes-1 hour), cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.
Make the Sugar Crust:
Combine juices and sugars in a bowl and stir until dissolved, then spoon over warm cake. Stand until cooled to room temperature.
Make the Crushed Strawberry Cream:
Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl, coarsely crush strawberries and stand until juices leach from strawberries (4-5 minutes). Whisk crème fraîche in a separate bowl until thick and smooth, fold in strawberry mixture and serve with sugar-crusted vanilla pound cake.