The world's most expensive spice has arrived for afternoon tea! Several years ago my "gourmet chef" son held up his stash of bagged saffron and grinned with joy about his treasure. Did you know that saffron comes from the yellow-orange stigma's of the purple crocus? It is available at your grocery store. This lovely pound cake recipe came from Gail Grecco's book "Tea Time Journeys and is from the Ravenswood Castle in New Plymouth, Ohio (http://www.ravenwoodcastle.com/Castle_Rooms.htm )
Tea time Journeys was published in 1997 and I believe...now out of
To make this wonderful pound cake you will need: 1 cup of buttermilk, 5 -7 strands of saffron,
1 1/2 cups of softened butter, 3 cups sugar, 5 eggs, 2 tsp vailla extract, 3 1/3 cups of CAKE FLOUR,
1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/3 cup grated orange peel, plus extract if desired for garnish
For the sauce: 3 egg yolks, 1 2/3 cups ofmilk, 3 Tb flour, 1 cup sugar,1 Tsp orange extract and 2 Tb
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Measure the buttermilk in a small bowl and add the saffron strands and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and orange peel. Alternately add the dry ingredient and the buttermilk mix beating well after each addition with the butter/sugar/eggs mix. Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake 1 hour and 45 minutes (I baked 1 hour 25 minutes in high altitude) Watch the top for browning and cover with small piece of foil if this happens! Cool on wire rack about 15 minutes before turning out from pan.
The sauce is wonderful - like a pudding. Whisk the egg yolks in a saucepan with2/3 cup of themoik over medium heat. Add the other ingredients and keep stirring until thick adding the orange extract last. Pour over pound cake and garnish with grated orange peel as desired.