Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Coffee Reduction and Pumpkin Ice Cream

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program I was lucky enough to receive two pounds of Godiva Coffee’s two new seasonal flavors: Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Pecan Bark.

While I love coffee, I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffee. What can I say? I love bitter things. I decided the best way for me to enjoy the coffee wasn’t simply brewing it, but placing it in the context of a fall dessert. I decided to make a variation of Orange Pound Cake and top it with a strong coffee reduction.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, split and the insides removed

3 tablespoons coffee, I used Godiva Coffee Carmel Pecan Bark flavor

2 scoops seasonal ice cream, I used Trader Joes Pumpkin Ice Cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. I started by combining the sugar and butter. Then I beat the sugar and butter for 8 mins until it was very fluffy. I am a major proponent of beating butter and sugar for a minimum of 8 mins, it tastes so divine.

Yes, I may have had a few bites of this while watching the Emmy pre show last weekend. Can you blame me?

Then I added the vanilla extract with a spatula and mixed with a spatula. Then I gradually beat in the eggs using a hand held mixer.

Then I added the salt and gradually added the flour. After adding the flour I added the insides of the vanilla bean. I split the bean with a knife and scraped out the insides. I made sure it was well mixed with the spatula.

I buttered a loaf pan and poured the batter in.

I baked for 60 mins.

While the pound cake was baking I got cracking on the coffee reduction. To start, I brewed 3 tablespoons of coffee in my French press, using 1 1/4 cups water.

You can use whatever brewing method you like. I only have a French press (I’m a bit obsessed with it actually) because personally, I think it brews better coffee. It’s mostly important that the coffee is a little stronger than usual.

Then I poured the coffee into a pot and set the heat on low to simmer the coffee.

It’s important not to let the coffee burn. I kept an eye on it until the coffee had reduced by half.

I check it by pouring it into my liquid measuring cup.

Reduced by over half: success!

I put the reduction aside to cool and took the pound cake out of the oven after it finished cooking and let it cool.

When I was ready to consume I sliced the pound cake, topped with my favorite fall ice cream (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream) and drizzled the coffee reduction over it.

Fantastic! The coffee was very flavorful and the scent was pretty intoxicating. I still probably wouldn’t drink this plain because of my personal preference for non flavored coffee but the scent was delicious. I also loved how the coffee was absorbed in the pound cake. Typically I add cinnamon or something to the pumpkin ice cream because I love adding things to pumpkin ice cream generally. I actually think I liked the addition of the coffee reduction more. The coffee reduction makes the flavor of the coffee even stronger and the strong flavor played well off of the pound cake and the ice cream.

I spent the rest of the week adding the coffee reduction to things like ice cream and muesli. Overall, I really liked Godiva Coffee for baking purposes and I will probably use it again. Indulgent and delicious for Fall!

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Tomato, Basil and Feta Orzo

Seeing as I started the summer with a delicious orzo salad, roasted shrimp orzo, I figured I should end the summer with one. I broke open a cookbook I got for my birthday from my Mom.

So far, this cookbook is great! I love the recipes (there are a ton) and the saucy commentary with the recipes. This one was pretty simple. I subbed the mozzarella for feta because it’s what I had on tap. This recipe took literally no thought to put together and was great cold the next day. We had a mini heat wave last week with temps in the 90’s. Having no AC, a cold lunch was necessary. I couldn’t bear to turn on the oven.

Tomato, Basil and Feta Orzo Salad

Ingredients

3 servings of orzo

1/8 cup chopped basil

1/8 cup EVO

1 tablespoon EVO

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (I used orange and yellow ones from the FM)

1 small minced clove of garlic

1 cup crumbled feta

Sprinkling of pepper and sea salt

Instructions

Combine the halved tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, feta, and 1/8 cut EVO in a bowl. Stir and let sit for 1 hour. This was great because it allowed me to get a post run shower in. Wahoo!

After an hour, cook the orzo. Combine the cooked orzo with the other ingredients and the additional tablespoon of EVO. Salt and pepper to taste.

Seriously, can a meal get any easier? I don’t think so. The tomatoes were so fresh and amazing, because they’re in season now. The feta melted just slightly onto the orzo and the basil. Be still my heart it was so good! Is there a better flavor combination than tomatoes and basil? Nope.

This makes three servings. With my marathon appetite I housed a serving and a half and chilled the other portion for lunch the next say. As I mentioned above, it was so hot that the chilled portion came in extra handy. I don’t think I would have heated it up if I could have; it was great cold like all orzo salads. This is something I can see myself making in mass for several days worth of lunches.

One Year Ago: I set my 10k PR in the Santa Monica 5000. It was also the race that introduced me to Kaitlin! Isn’t running wonderful?

Any Excuse for a Cupcake

One Year Ago: Corona Del Mar and Big Foot Lodge

Hey gang, how was your labor day? Mine was fantastic. I ate treats and did plenty of this…

Yes, the sun felt so good today. I met up with Danielle for sun, discussions about important topics (boys) and sipped on coconut La Croix (going to be a new addiction).

This being the last weekend of Summer I decided that I needed to celebrate on Friday. Even though Summer in LA doesn’t really end until, like, October I still decided to mosey on over to Susie Cakes anyways. You know me, any excuse for a cupcake.

Another excuse for a cupcake? Susie Cakes has a new seasonal cupcake!

Salted caramel and apple cupcake

Swoon.

The frosting was salted caramel and the cupcake was pretty much an apple spice cake. It was the best Susie Cake cupcake I’ve had in a WHILE. Seriously, while I love Susie Cakes I had a strawberry cupcake a few weeks ago and it wasn’t my fav. So glad to have my faith restored.

Can you blame me for coming up with random excuses for a cupcake?

How did you celebrate labor day?