AGAINST THE GRAIN POUND CAKE
  • 4 tablespoons Amaranth
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

Cook amaranth in very hot skillet, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly, until it pops, 10 to 15 seconds per tablespoon. Set aside.

Beat butter with shortening with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in 2 cups of sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in lime zest and 1½ teaspoons of vanilla. Stir in popped amaranth.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt 2 times. Add to batter in 3 parts, alternating with 3 parts of the milk. Spoon batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the lime juice and the remaining ¼ teaspoon vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Keep warm.

When the cake is done, place the pan on a rack. Prick holes in the cake, and pour the warm lime mixture over. Let the cake cool on the rack for 15 to 20 minutes before unmolding. Serves 10.