Saturday, August 06, 2011

Miskuta (Moroccan Pound Cake)

When Americans bake, we're pretty obsessed with measurements. It's gotten to the point now where many cake recipes don't even call for measured cups of dry ingredients anymore, but you're supposed to be weighing your flour - as if your cake will be a flat disaster if you don't have, say, a perfect 113 grams.

But in Morocco, it's different. Not only are recipes still a pinch of this, an eyeballed quantity of that, but the same goes for cakes. There's a wonderful pound cake that my sister-in-law makes, and I've been unable to approximate it without help, despite having a number of delicious American pound cake recipes. The quest ended this summer when I observed her making it from start to finish. And the best thing about it is that she uses a small tea glass for measurements - and it always turns out wonderfully, even if the glass varies in size from time to time. You'll also see some seemingly bizarre variations that actually turn out quite wonderfully - orange juice or milk, who cares? I've made it with both and seen her do the same. The best part is how easy this cake is-- in under fifteen minutes you can have it in the oven. I brought back a Moroccan miskuta pan, pictured in the back, which is more like a bundt cake mold than an angel food cake one. And you can use your American cup measures - no need to find a Moroccan tea glass.

Kenza's Miskuta (Moroccan Pound Cake)

1 cup milk (OR orange juice)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 Tblsp. baking powder
dash salt

Mix milk, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a mixer OR a blender. Add 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix well. Prepare bundt cake pan by buttering and flouring the surface. Pour cake in pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour (check with a toothpick to see when it's done; it should be golden brown). Leave as-is to serve, or sprinkle with powdered sugar, or glaze with honey.

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