Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anise Seed Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries

Do you like this loaf pan? You can but it HERE!

Tonight we have been invited to our friends Candace and Andy's "family dinner night", a regular gathering of friends over a home-cooked meal.  I love this kind of party and I wish more people would host these kind of gatherings where everyone brings something to share (food, juicy gossip, off color jokes etc).

Since it is springtime and strawberries are ready for picking here in North Carolina, I thought I would make one of my favorite desserts, anise seed pound cake with strawberries in balsamic vinegar.

This Anise-scented pound cake is amazing with fresh fruit.  The anise seed is toasted in a dry pan over high heat until fragrant, and the hot seeds are added into the batter, releasing their essential oils into the cake as it bakes.  The result is a deliciously fragrant pound cake, reminiscent of good pizelle cookies.  As it bakes, the top of the cake forms a crispy crunchy shell that is so delicious, and is a wonderful contrast to the dense moist cake. YUM.
Mmmmmmm... locally grown organic strawberries!

This cake is great with a scoop of sorbet, but I much prefer fresh fruit tossed with good balsamic vinegar and a tiny bit of brown sugar.   I was fortunate enough to receive a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar for Christmas from my daughter Rachel, and I love to use it on strawberries.  It just makes the strawberries taste 1,000 times more like a strawberry!

Anise Seed Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries
Serves 12

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
5 eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp anise seed

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a bundt or loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar on high speed until very light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add flour and mix on medium speed until just combined.  Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix in.

In a small skillet, heat anise seed over high heat until it become fragrant and just begins to smoke.  Add hot seeds to cake batter and mix in.

Transfer batter to a greased and floured bundt cake or loaf pan.  Bake at 350F for 1 hour and 15 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on a wrie rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Serve with Balsamic Strawberries.

Balsamic strawberries

2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.  Let berries macerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Strawberries with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar

...And after macerating


  1. This sounds delicious! I love balsamic strawberries!

    1. Thanks Catalina! I hope you try this terrific recipe! Its not only good with balsamic strawberries, but fresh peaches and warm zabaglione are incredible with it too! Mama Ozzy