Cake-of-the-week is back in the baby cakes chapter of Rose's Heavenly Cakes, with a mini pound cake baked in financier molds. I confess I don't remember the Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes we baked back in July or the classic financiers from September well enough to "compare and contrast" with my taste buds--it's nice to have the blog entries to help.
This is not a true pound cake, as it uses egg whites only. While I miss the richness the egg yolks bring, I did get to pull a baggie of whites from the freezer--things have been heavy on the yolk side lately, I guess. I used my new vanilla bean paste for the first time, substituting for both the actual bean and the vanilla extract. (I didn't miss the task of trying to slice a somewhat shriveled vanilla bean in half, then scraping at the itty bitty seeds.) The batter mixes up very quickly, and as the recipe warned it did indeed look a little curdled when done. I did
measured out the ounce of batter into each financier mold squeezing from a zip-top plastic bag, trying to reduce my usual amount of slop over the top of the pan....but alas, it didn't help much. I ended up with 12 cakelets instead of the 10 promised by the recipe, nicely filling one financier mold.
My cakelets baked unevenly as this pan seems to do--one side of each cakelet rises higher than the other, sometimes enough to curl over slightly. Perhaps I need to rotate the pan halfway through to see if this might be due to uneven oven heating. The cakelets only browned slightly by the time they were done.
Tasting results were somewhat mixed, but this cakelet didn't wow anyone. My brother and I found it unremarkable, and I'll add that I prefer a tighter crumb on pound cake, (as almost always) would like it a little moister. Maybe the egg-white-only batter gave the larger crumb to this recipe. Older niece, noting that vanilla isn't among her favorite flavors but she does prefer vanilla bean to plain vanilla, found that this didn't say "vanilla bean" to her. Younger niece concurred. Older niece also found it a little dry and needing the accompanying glass of milk she got, and felt raspberries and whipped cream would greatly improved it. (I think everyone in the family agrees that raspberries and whipped cream enhance almost anything. Oh, and fudge sauce....) Nephew gave the most comments, saying it was moist and flavorful, but a little 'hard'--perhaps the cakelet, two days after baking, didn't hold well. Overall, this one was not a big hit. Based on my blog entries, I think the classic financier is the keeper of these three similar cakelets.