Thursday 6 March 2008


ong's condensed milk pound cake

I was recently visiting Cakewardrobe's blog and noticed she baked Ong's Condensed Milk Pound Cake. Her post reminded me of the little flag I stuck on the recipe in my own copy of Ong's book. It's been there a while but now that I've seen her scrumptious results, I was motivated to make the cake.
the pound cake cracks a smile

I had all the ingredients on hand. I love condensed milk so it's always kicking around. The best brand of Condensed milk is the one with a picture of that old guy on the front. That's the Longevity Brand, I think.
I didn't follow the recipe exactly. Of course.

I buzzed up a whole vanilla bean in my Bullet. Then I proceeded to dump everything into my trusty Kitchenaid. I didn't want to lug out my food processor. Ong makes the whole cake in the processor but I find it a hassle to clean the processor lid so I'm always reluctant to use it for stuff like this.

I beat the butter and salt first, then added the ground vanilla bean sugar. I made sure it looked nice and fluffy and then added the flour mixture and the eggs and poured it into the loaf pan.

Here's where Ong's recipe goes awry. His timing's way off. I don't know if he used convection mode or not but he states to bake the pound cake for about an hour. I kept checking the cake and at 60 minutes, it was light golden and jiggled in the middle. I added 5 minutes and it still didn't look done. By the time it was done, I had added a full 20 minutes onto the 60. Looking at the illustration in the cookbook, it appeared the pound cake was quite brown externally. It was not golden brown by my standards. My pound cake was not brown, but it was a tad past the dark golden stage.

the crunchy, caramelized crust is the best part
love those vanilla bean specks

The cake was perfect in every way. The crust was crunchy and sweet. It almost tasted deep-fried! The crumb was fine. The cake had a subtle condensed milk flavour. I loved the specks of ground vanilla bean in the cake. I hadn't even bothered sifting it like Ong indicated in the recipe. I like a few bitty chunks of vanilla in there. The Bullet is able to get the vanilla pod ground up quite fine.
because i didn't sift the ground vanilla sugar, i had tiny vanilla bean chunks throughout: bonus!

Stomach loves the pound cake. Bib and Bebe loved it too. It's a keeper and I highly recommend it. However, if I were you I wouldn't bring the cake out of the oven too quickly. Ong's timing is way off.

from Pichet Ong's Sweet Spot
[my adaptations to the recipe & techniques are in brackets]
Makes one 8 1/2 -x- 4 1/2 inch cake, about 12 servings
1 cup (8 oz/226 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/3 cups (7 oz/200g) all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz/ 106g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, chopped, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (8 oz/239g) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • Generously butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 - inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • Put the sugar and the chopped vanilla bean, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the vanilla bean is finely ground. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve and return the sugar mixture to the food processor. If not using the vanilla bean, just put the sugar in the processor. [I buzzed the sugar and vanilla bean in my Bullet]
  • Add the butter and salt and process until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Add the condensed milk and pulse until well incorporated, about 15 times, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. [I used the stand mixer and the beater attachment to beat the butter, salt and ground vanilla sugar mixture until fluffy. Then I added the condensed milk and beat until combined]
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients and pulse until no traces of flour remain, about 10 times. Add the eggs and pulse just until combined, about 5 times. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, if using, and finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the eggs. [Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat until combined. Then, add all the eggs and continue beating until thoroughly incorporated.]
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely in the loaf pan on a rack, then unmold. [I baked my pound cake for one hour 20 minutes!]


test it comm said...

That pound cake looks so good! Especially the vanilla flecks.

Helene said...

Oh that crust is just calling my name! What a great recipe!

Manggy said...

Looks good. You know it's done right when it has that massive hump on top :)

amycaseycooks said...

I love the addition of condensed milk. I have been cooking with it more lately. Looks fantastic.

Brilynn said...

Love the vanilla flecks in the crack, I can almost smell it from here!

Gloria Baker said...

I love the cakes desserts with condensed milk, this looks wonderful!!Gloria

Deborah said...

This sounds amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my GOODNESS this looks SO fabulous. The cake looks so moist it may fall apart at any second, the crust is a gorgeous carmel color and those pieces of vanilla are to die for. THIS is food at it's finest. :)

Alejandra Ramos said...

This look so delicious!! I must make it soon...both you and cake wardrobe are tempting me!! :)

Anonymous said...

I have this book, too. You've inspired me to bake this beautiful little cake - I think I have all of the ingredients on hand.

If you haven't yet done so,try Ong's version of caramel corn with the Indian fennel candies - so pretty, fun and tasty.

Marichelle said...

oooh this one is definitely getting bookmarked! I grew up in the Philippines so I have a weak spot for anything that involves condensed or evaporated milk! -Marichelle

Anonymous said...

okay this is by far one of the best websites I have ever found on the net!!! And you found my weakness, sweetened condensed milk oh yum I am going to make this cake this weekend ! Also I tried making petit fours a few years ago with miserable results, but you inspired me to try again....!!!Kelly from Canada

Cakebrain said...

Thanks a bunch for visiting! I'm glad you're finding the blog interesting! I'm always wondering what people want to see, but in the end I just end up baking/making stuff I know I'd enjoy eating!

Unknown said...

Dear Cake on the brain! Here is Carlotta, from Italy! I have a blog about condensed milK and memories and I was looking for a special recipe with condensed milk.. . That's why I founded your blog and fell in love with your milk pound cake.. I would like to paste your recipe on my blog.. If you don't mind, because I'm not a very good cooker! Or if you know many others recipes about it and you want to post them directly!!
Great you and your recipes!!
thanks carlotta

Cakebrain said...

I think it's cool that your blog is about condensed milk! Yes, you can paste the recipe to your site if you also cite my food blog. You can link to my site too if you wish.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, from Italy.. I wanted to thank you again because I'm working on my blog now to put your recipe in the home page and I successfully added your link in my list :) My collegue falled in love of your sweet artworks!! I'll follow your blog and if you want to know something more about recipes, memories, condensed milk and many others ITALIAN CURIOSITIES, you can throw an eye on
write you soon

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this cake. I've made it six or seven times now and everyone I've served it to raves about it! I added a Tres Leches sauce and poured it over the cake with a drizzle of chocolate and fresh rasberries. Yum! I've also made this recipe as cupcakes which works too (very tasty while still warm). Just a note if you make it in an 8x8 inch pan it takes exactly one hour to cook. Cheers!

Robbie said...

Made the pound cake this weekend for Mother's Day. It is wonderful and ten times better the next day. I have a gas oven and the 60 minutes was a tad too long. My cake was quite dark; I would check it next time at 45-50 minutes. I did use the vanilla bean and also added 1 tsp of vanilla extract and I thought it was just right, very mild vanilla flavor. This recipe is going into my special hand written recipe book-you know the one where every recipe is a tried and true? That one. Thanks!

Cakebrain said...

I too add an extra bit of vanilla extract to punch it up and this recipe is in my special handwritten keeper book as well!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello! I *just* made this and, as with the author, my loaf has taken more than an hour, too. I have a gas oven, although I can't honestly say if it's calibrated correctly. Anyway, it smells and looks wonderful. Can't wait to see how it tastes! :)

kim said...

oh wow, totally doable! Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

This looks so delicious. I'll try it soon

Andy said...

Hi, I usually love Chef Ong's recipes. I think it's a bit much to criticize him for cooking time. Every oven is different and those are just guides. Of course you always must check by your senses.

Cakebrain said...

gee, that's why we live in a free country: just love freedom of speech. So, consider my blog an expression of my opinions. You can have your own.
Having said that, I think that it is perfectly fine to criticize his oven cooking times. His cooking times are way off in this case as I have made this recipe several times and my oven is calibrated. Yes every oven is different but perhaps he is using a commercial oven. I am using a Wolfe oven that is pretty high end but is designed for use in the home. I would think that my oven is more in line with what a home cook would have and my comment about oven times is considered a warning to other home cooks trying to follow his recipe that they will have a soggy undercooked cake if they follow his times. So of course, check your senses. This does not negate the awesomeness of his recipe. I wonder why you are offended that I criticize his oven cooking times though when it is perfectly legitimate to do so? In what way is it offensive?


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