It’s been a while since I baked a traditional pound cake, but when I came across Luisa Weiss’ post about an Alice Medrich recipe for a Kamut pound cake, I immediately put this cake on my mental baking to do list. Never having baked with Kamut flour before, I was intrigued by Luisa’s description of its almost buttery flavour, and what better way to showcase a unique ingredient than a simple and humble pound cake.
Kamut is one of the ancient grains like Spelt and Einkorn that have recently regained some popularity after having disappeared from mainstream supermarkets. The grain, a wheat variant with very large kernels, has been grown since the time of the pharaos (indeed, some claim that Egypt’s name itself is based on this ancient grain, due to its importance for ancient Egypt). The grain itself is very high in protein and rich in minerals. Although not glutenfree it is said to be more digestible for those suffering from slight wheat intolerances. The flour is yellow-ish in appearance and adds a nutty and buttery taste to baked goods.
Living in Rome is teaching me to make the most of seasonal produce, in part as the choice in the supermarkets is pretty limited to seasonal produce anyway. Ale and I have been eating our weight in Sicilian oranges these past few weeks while they are at their best, perfectly ripe, sweet, much bigger than the ones we get in the UK and incredibly juicy. It did not take me long to decide to flavour the cake with some orange zest!
We have been enjoying the loaf for breakfast, paired with a strong coffee and an orange on the side. But, this cake would work equally well as a simple dessert, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream and some sliced oranges, or even a scoop of olive oil ice cream and some candied kumquats on the side.
Kamut Pound Cake
adapted from Alice Medrich
120g spelt flour
60g kamut flour
180g muscovado sugar
180g butter at room temperature, cubed
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
zest of 1 orange
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius and grease a loaf pan with some butter or oil.
2. Whisk together the two types of flour, the baking powder, salt and orange zest.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs with the milk.
4. Beat the butter into the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Pour half the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and beat for ca. 20 seconds. Add half of the remaining egg mixture and beat for another 20 seconds. Add the rest of the egg mixture and beat for a further 20 seconds.
6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake remains dry.
7. Leaf to cool for 5-10 minutes before inverting the cake (and I would recommend using a sharp knife to help loosen the cake from the loaf pan before inverting).