Having a great pound cake recipe in your arsenal is a requirement. A pound cake can be used in about a million different recipes and variations. It is wonderful on its own served with a cup of tea, grilled on the barbecue and topped with peaches and whipped cream, in a trifle, or slathered with strawberry jam. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is.

This pound cake is special because it uses browned butter. Browning butter is very simple to do, and the nutty flavor that you end up with is incredible. You can use it in sweet recipes like this one, but also in savory ones. It makes a perfect sauce for pasta and over vegetables. Start by adding the butter to a saucepan. Use a whisk and stir while the butter is melting. Your butter will begin to foam. When it stops foaming, little brown bits will form on the bottom of the pan and the butter will begin to smell nutty. Take it off the heat and let it cool. Be careful, as brown butter can go from perfectly brown to burnt very quickly. At this point, you can use it as a sauce or keep it in the fridge.

The other special thing about this pound cake is that uses vanilla beans. Vanilla bean is one of my favorite ingredients. I buy them in bulk and online. This makes vanilla beans affordable enough to use in almost anything.

I like to make a berry sauce to top slices of pound cake. Sometimes I add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then top with warm berry sauce. If you have leftover sauce, it is perfection on pancakes or waffles.

Browned Butter Pound Cake with Berry Sauce
By Bree

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks butter, plus additional for greasing pan
3 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the berry sauce:
4 cups berries (I used a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the butter begins to foam and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool. Place in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, or until almost solid.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and vanilla bean . Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed, and add browned butter. Mix until well incorporated, the batter will be very dry at this point. Add half of egg mixture, mix for 30 seconds, and add remaining egg mixture. Mix for another 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the berry sauce:

In a medium saucepan, combine berries, lemon juice and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until the berries begin to break down, about 7 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Add to the berries and cook until the mixture comes to a bubble. Add vanilla. Serve over pound cake.

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Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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