Add a splash of Vin Santo, the Tuscan dessert wine, to classic American pound cake and the flavor becomes uniquely Italian. Serve this plain but rich cake with whipped cream or ice cream and fresh berries or sliced stone fruit.
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 cups (21 oz) sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Vin Santo
- 1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone (may substitute sour cream, labneh, or Greek-style yogurt)
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit for serving
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan and set it aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
Put the 1 1/2 cups butter in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat briefly on medium speed to soften. Gradually add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat at high speed until light and airy, 5 full minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Change the speed to medium and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the Vin Santo. Beat in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, and then the mascarpone. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture until until incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate or another rack, and then re-invert to cool completely. Serve with the whipped cream or ice cream and fresh fruit.