With so much uncertainty around us these days, I am truly saddened that we are grabbing the front row seats while watching a news channel as if the current events are part of some thriller movie. The future of this country is in a jeopardy, if I say I ain’t worried that would be false. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, it just doesn’t matter as all these things are not a political issue but a humanitarian one. I adopted this country as my own and call it home, as an immigrant I totally understand how these current affairs are making it difficult for some people. Since this space is about baking, let’s talk about this tutti frutti pound cake and it is special when it comes to food being memories for an immigrant.
If you are thinking what the hell is Tutti Frutti, well it means different things for different people. The true meaning is all fruits in Italian (usually mix of candied fruits) but for any Indian, it is quintessentially small colorful pieces in cake, breads to ice cream and my personal favorite paan. When asked what tutti frutti is made of, it’s pretty much a black stare. These tutti frutti are made of raw papaya which are candied and colored red/green/yellow. As for taste, nada but it gives a texture that I can’t describe. Memory is a powerful thing in itself, I still remember eating a soft milk bread with just few tutti frutti dispersed in between as a kid. And to this darn day I would eat it happily even though I know it is nothing but sugar and carbs. That pillowy soft bread with bite from tutti frutti, hmmm I think I have said enough now.
This is one of those recipes which is just a base and you can get as creative as you like. If you can’t get hold of tutti frutti just add anything from nuts to chocolate chips or orange peel. It has the basic texture of a pound cake but a lot lighter as it uses half the butter and stays fresh for few days too. I know separating eggs and whipping whites is an extra step but it is worth it here to get a lighter loaf. You can double the recipe and bake in a bundt pan.
Serves 8 to 10
Adapted from Beard on Food by James Beard
- 180 grams/ 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 75 grams/ 1/2 cup tutti frutti (see note)
- 50 grams/ 1/3 cup/ 10 red or green candied cherries, chopped into quarters
- 4 large eggs, at room and separated
- 175 grams/ 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar,
- 226 grams/ 1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray your loaf pan with non stick baking spray, set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, three times. Mix two tablespoons of flour mix with tutti frutti and cherries, set aside
- Whip egg whites in a bowl, until they start forming soft peaks, slowly add ½ cup of sugar and beat till combined, set aside.
- In a bowl, add butter and cream it (mix) until pale. Add remaining sugar and beat well, until it is fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and continue mixing till the mix is light lemony colored, add the vanilla extract.
- Add ⅓ of whipped egg whites and fold very slowly. Repeat until all egg whites are gone. Sift flour over this mix and slowly fold. When you are about to be done, mix in the flour coated tutti frutti.
- Pour all the mix into the prepared pan and bake in middle rack for 40 to 45 minutes, until skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in pan over rack for 10 minutes, unmold and let cool completely.
Note: Thanks Lisa for pointing it out! Tutti Frutti is available in Indian Grocery Store.