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By Chrissy Barua

Hello readers! First, I’d like to thank Justine for the opportunity to guest post. She’s such an amazingly talented woman and I’m so truly flattered to meet you all!

But I’m here to talk about food, so let’s get into it.

When I was toying around with the perfect dessert recipe for every summer picnic table, after talking to my friends, I settled on pound cake. My dear friend, born and bred in Louisiana, admitted that “pound cake is one thing that every Southern gal needs to know how to cook.” I couldn’t agree more…because, really, who doesn’t love pound cake? Though I’m not a  Southern gal, my mom’s own brown sugar pound cake was a staple in my house all summer long. Simple ingredients, a little love in the oven and voila- the perfect accompaniment to each and every summer fruit.

So when I told my mom I was going to butcher her beloved pound cake recipe, I had to reassure her that I wasn’t trying to make that better, but rather make it different. Different does not mean better. Life lessons applied to food.

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I wanted to put into practice a flavor profile that I had been toying with in my head for a while, and the brown sugar pound cake seemed to be the best place to start. No doubt because of mom’s influence, I’ve done a lot of cooking and baking using and melding together exotic flavors in a way that has completely changed my normal: Curry powder isn’t only for curry. Jam isn’t only for scones. And in this case, tahini isn’t only for hummus. It’s for cake.

I transformed mom’s already decadent brown sugar pound cake into a tahini pound cake dressed with a sweet orange glaze. A little bit different, the tahini adds a little nuttiness and sumpin sumpin this moist summer favorite while maintaining its perfect simplicity: no towering layers, no whipping icings, no crumb coats, no pretension. Just as everything summer should be.

For the cake:

½ cup butter

½ cup tahini

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup honey

3 eggs

2 cups plus 2 TB all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ t salt

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup milk

For the glaze:

½ cup orange juice

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

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Directions

Preheat your oven to 325° F.

Grease and sugar a loaf pan.

With an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the butter and sugars until thick. Gradually beat in the tahini and honey, and mix thoroughly, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs.

Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, alternating with the milk. Beat until smooth, and then mix in the vanilla.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about 90 minutes, or until the cake tests done.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup.

Heat the juice in a small saucepan and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved and let thicken until slightly syrupy (but not too thick)

Take the cake out of the oven and pour the syrup on top immediately. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling! Enjoy!

Cant wait to try Chrissy’s recipe? Tell us your twist to her yummy recipe!

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