I love condensed milk. I have not used it much in baking, but really, I should experiment with it more often. It is a common sweetener in Asian countries. I remember drizzling it in between a hot pandesal to have as breakfast or as a nighttime snack. It’s great drizzled on fruit too, from papaya to avocado and to the popular Filipino Fruit salad. I also know it makes a great pastry cream without cornstarch and this method is widely used in the Philippines.
I am happy that Pichet Ong frequently employs this sweet alternative to sugar throughout his book “The Sweet Spot” . I’ve always wanted to make his condensed-milk pound cake and was waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
This past weekend, we visited “hungry” hubby’s aunt in DC. Tea-time is a favorite in-between/after meal custom at her house and slices of pound cake with tea seemed like an ideal combination at the moment. The rain that hounded us all weekend even added to the desire to just hang out and drink tea.
Condensed Milk Pound Cake
from Pichet Ong’s “The Sweet Spot”
1 cup (8 ounces/226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/3 cups (7 ounces/200 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces/ 106 g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, chopped, or tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (8 1/2 ounces/ 239 g) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
Preheat the oven 325 F. Generously butter an 8 1/2x 4 1/2 loaf pan and set aside.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
Put the sugar and the chopped vanilla bean, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the vanilla bean is finely ground. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve and return the sugar mixture to the food procesor. If not using the vanilla bean, just put the sugar in the processor.
Add the butter and salt and process until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Add the condensed milk and pulse until well incorporated, about 15 times, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the sifted dry ingredients and pulse until no traces of flour remain, about 10 times. Add the eggs and pulse just until combined, about 5 times. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla extract if using and finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the eggs.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely in the loaf an on a rack, then unmold.
There were no gotchas at all with this recipe. It’s as simple as whirring it all together in a food-processor. How easy is that? My pound cake did not attain the dark brown color that was shown in the book, I’m not sure if it was because I used two smaller loaf pans than the one specified in the recipe.
The gloomy weather did not stop me from falling in line outside Georgetown Cupcake to savor the best cupcake in DC.
We also did manage to visit several ethnic grocers to stock up on some ingredients not readily available in Richmond, Va.
Ahh and there’s nothing like warm lavash right out of the tandoor oven! I could easily fold this unleavened bread, while it is still soft, in several layers and stuff it in my hungry mouth with or without butter.
And now, I think I’m ready to brew some cardamom tea to go with my pound cake.