Yuzu-white chocolate-macadamia pound cakes

I actually grew up eating tons of pound cake, but never really making it from scratch. I honestly did not even realize that what makes pound cake so unique is that while it is an American-style cake batter, it does not use any leavening! Typically, you would see French and European sponge cakes use eggs to leaven the cake, while the American cakes would use baking soda or baking powder. But while pound cake is American, it does not use baking soda or powder, but rather, the air from whipping butter with eggs and sugar. That to me is very unique, just because I am used to either whipping eggs or egg whites to ribbon stage or stiff peaks, or using leavening agents in almost any cake batter I make. I did make a test batch of this recipe, with baking powder, and I can tell you that the cake definitely did not need it – the baking powder made the cake begin to sag while the crumb was so soft that it basically fell apart when I tried to glaze it. So you can trust that for a pound cake, you don’t need baking soda or powder to make it.

For my version, I did a yuzu, white chocolate, and macadamia flavored pound cake. I used fresh yuzu zest in the cake itself, along with white chocolate and salt-toasted macadamia nuts. White chocolate and macadamia nut cookies were a childhood favorite of mine growing up and my go-to cookie order at Subway(aka where I used to go for lunch all the time back when I worked in Inglewood). The usage of the yuzu adds another layer to that contrast, since citrus pairs beautifully with white chocolate and butter, which this cake has plenty of. I love the contrast between the fragrant and zesty from the yuzu against the toasty saltiness and crunch from the macadamia and the sweetness from the white chocolate to balance that. I also made a yuzu glaze from Valrhona’s Yuzu Inspiration chocolate to glaze the finished cakes off with. I can guarantee you that this cake will be rich, buttery, but not too sweet.

Makes 3 mini pound cakes:
For the cake:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 yuzu’s worth of zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup roasted macadamia nuts
1/3 cup white chocolate chips

In a bowl, cream together the butter, yuzu zest, sugar, and vanilla extract for 10 minutes. Mix into that the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and toss with the macadamia nuts and white chocolate. Fold the flour mixture into the butter-egg mixture. Line three mini loaf tins with oil and flour, then distribute your batter among the three tins. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool before unmolding and glazing.

For the glaze:
Juice from 1 yuzu
1 tablespoon cornstarch
a pinch of salt
2oz white chocolate
2oz yuzu inspiration
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup soy milk
a pinch of salt

Mix the cornstarch with yuzu juice. Combine all of your ingredients in a pot and whisk together on low heat until everything melts together and is one homogenous liquid. Continue whisking on low heat until the mixture begins to cling to the sides of your whisk. Pass the mixture through a sieve and allow it to cool down before glazing the tops of your cakes with.

To finish:
Valrhona yuzu inspiration
Macadamia nuts

Garnish the tops of the glazed cakes with the above ingredients.

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