Pound cake – Ponque from Puertorica

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March is a month that I really look forward to come. I turn a year older and so does the blog.

It’s 4 years today(31st Mar) since I started this ‘think out loud’ place of mine. I had a lot of encouragement from my husband. Well, there is only so much of my thoughts that he as a single person can handle and hence the push to share it with the virtual world.

Whatever it was, the man has stood with me through my cakes, cookies and my bakes. You will appreciate the sacrifice a lot more when I tell you he doesn’t like sweets at all(my son is slowly taking after him).

And that’s exactly what this blog is serving the whole of April. Lots and lots of baked goods. Stay tuned.

This post is a part of Valli’s Blogging Marathon. Check out her page or the linky tool below for some awesome (my son is 8 and my vocabulary reflects his choice of words) recipes from the other participating bloggers.

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There are some twists to life that are simply put, unbelievable.My very next door neighbor is a sweet lady from Puerto Rico. And guess what, she is a professional cake decorator! For me, its like living next to a movie star!

Not only is she a great decorator, she is a generous spirit when it comes to sharing as well – be it recipes, her skills or her time. This recipe is from her. A pound cake from Puerto Rico called ponque.

It’s a sturdy cake and makes a good base for a lot of cakes. The syrup HAS to be made and the cake has to be sprinkled generously with it. The cake is dry otherwise.

Read on for the pictorial and the recipe at the bottom.

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Beat 4 sticks(450 gms in total) of softened butter for a minute or two.

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Add one cup sugar and beat using a hand/stand mixer until light and fluffy.

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Add the egg yolks (12!!) one at a time and mix. Repeat until all 12 are done.

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Add one tablespoon baking powder and beat it in.

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Add one tablespoon of vanilla essence and mix again.

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Add 3 cups flour in batches and fold it in slowly. You might have to add a couple of tablespoons of milk if the batter is too dry.

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Remove the batter to a big bowl and keep aside.

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Beat 12 egg whites until they bubble up. Then add the remaining one cup of sugar and continue beating.

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Beat until soft peaks form.

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Add this egg whites (meringue) to the flour batter mix.

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Fold it in carefully, until you don’t see white streaks anymore.

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Bake for about 45 minutes (this time will depend on the pan you use) or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle.

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Prepare the syrup using water to sugar in 2:1 proportion.

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Switch it off once the sugar melts and add the vanilla and almond extracts and alcohol, if using.

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Once the cake comes out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes, or until you can handle it. Flip the cake pan over a plate to transfer it to the plate. Line the cake pan with cling wrap. We will be returning the cake back to it.

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Pour the cooled syrup slowly and carefully all over the back side, taking extra care to moisten the sides. For this cake, I used about 1-2 ladle ful for each side.

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Flip the cake back over to the pan by placing the pan on the plate and turning it upside down to transfer it. Moisten the top portion as well, again slowly and carefully, taking extra care to moisten the sides.

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Cover the cake with cling wrap so that it doesn’t dry out. You can leave this cake out overnight to soak in the syrup. Decorate as you wish the next day.

I glazed the 9″ round cake with ganache and decorated with fondant cut out letters.

Recipe source:  My neighbor Lizy

Ingredients:

  • 4 sticks butter (450 gms), softened
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 12 eggs,separated
  • 1/4 cup brandy (optional)*
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp milk, if you are not using the brandy

Syrup: The syrup is compulsory with this cake. Else the cake might be too dry.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup rum/brandy (optional)*

*The alcohol is used traditionally, but I skipped it.

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and line a 9X13 pan. I used two loaf pans, one 9″ pan and a six inch pan.
  2. Separate the eggs.
  3. Beat the butter with one cup sugar using a hand/stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg yolk at a time and whisk into butter mix until all 12 yolks are incorporated.
  5. Add the baking powder, vanilla essence and mix.
  6. Tip in the cake flour and mix until its incorporated. Do not over mix. If you are using alcohol, you have to add now. Else you might have to add a couple of tablespoons of milk for the batter to come together.
  7. In a separate clean vessel, beat the egg whites and the remaining one cup sugar until fluffy and soft peaks form. Do not over beat.
  8. Fold this mix very gently into the butter-flour mix.
  9. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until a skewer when inserted in the middle comes free of crumbs. Keep in mind that the baking time varies depending on the pan size.
  10. Let it cool once the cake is out of the pan.

Preparing the syrup:

  1. Mix sugar and water (1:2) in a pan and heat it until the sugar is dissolved. Add the extracts. Mix.
  2. Move the cake to a plate so that the bottom side can be moistened with the syrup.
  3. Using a ladle or a cup, pour about 1/2-1 cup of the syrup over the cooled cake very slowly and very carefully, starting with the edges. If the cake is moist, you can stop, else you will have to add more syrup as per the need.
  4. Now, place a cling wrap in the cake pan and return the cake to the pan. Add the syrup to the top portion as well.
  5. Cover the cake and keep aside to rest for at least a couple of hours to let it soak in the syrup.
  6. Decorate as you want the next day. Here, I have used ganache to glaze the cake and used fondant decorations to make it pretty.

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30 thoughts on “Pound cake – Ponque from Puertorica

  1. Sandhya Ramakrishnan says:

    Congratulations to your blog on its 4th year and wishing you many more to come! The cake looks awesome and I love the idea of keeping it moist using the sugar syrup. Personally pound cake is my favorite (without any frosting) and I am going to try this recipe soon :)

    Like

  2. Priya Srinivasan says:

    I was waiting to see this cake rajani!! It feels so good to read your post after a very longg time!!! 12 eggs i don’t think we even stand a chance to replace them. But can imagine the softness and fluffiness the cake has. Looking forward to rest of your posts and plss share that cute stand mixer snap tooo!!

    Like

  3. usha says:

    Happy 4th birthday to your blog and a belated to you. Now we get see how you made that beautiful cake. Looking forward to your bakes this month.

    Like

  4. foodiliciousnan says:

    I’ve always loved your cakes. So I’m extra glad your neighbour is a cake decorator, so we’ll get to see lotsa pretty cakes. Btw belated birthday wishes to you and happy birthday to your blog!

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!!The cake looks absolutely stunning…As Priya said no way to replace the eggs..I can imagine how soft the cake is..

    Like

  6. Varada says:

    Pound cakes are generally rich and this one is super rich with the addition of the syrup. Must have tasted divine though. Congratulations on completing four years.

    Like

  7. Vaishali Sabnani says:

    Rajani..welcome back!
    n ..Congratulations on the mile stone !!
    and you dont know, your neighbor is more lucky than you, its hard to find people like you..you are no less than a movie star:)) look at that delicious looking cake..of course looking forward to many more!!

    Like

  8. Srivalli says:

    Its so good to have you back Rajani, Missed your posts and wit! Happy Birthday to your blog and you as well..I can wrack myself for forgetting to wish you on time…The cake has turned out AWESOME..tell your son that I heart his vocabulary..wish one can replace the eggs though..:)..looking forward to your bakes..

    Like

  9. PJ says:

    Welcome Back Rajani! Missed your posts yaar.. And this cake is absolutely awesome! As Priya said I cant imagine replacing all those eggs but am sure the texture would speak volumes!! Superb creation Rajani…

    Like

  10. Pavani says:

    Wow, what a stunner to begin the marathon Rajani. You are so lucky to have a professional cake decorator as a neighbor. Looking forward to all your bakes this month.

    Like

  11. Suja Ram says:

    Iam a fan of your Bakes as well as your witty writing skill..Happy to have you back at the BM after a short break. That is a stunning cake. Loved the Fondant deco a lot. Virtual treat!!

    Like

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