This recipe is an adaptation of the traditional pound cake, but with a twist! Fresh Mint offers an unusually delightful flavour, and even adds to the appearance of the dish. Amaze your guests with its tender, crumbly outer surface, speckled with chopped mint leaves.
For your Baking Pan, use a 4 cup-capacity loaf tin, greased and lined with either parchment or greased butter paper. Set your oven temperature at 170ºC.
Finely chop the mint leaves. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small fry pan. Add the Mint leaves and cook stirring, until it just begins to emit a pleasant aroma (take care to not over-cook). Leave aside to cool.
Measure the flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl, and mix well to combine.
Break the eggs into a smaller bowl, add milk and both the essences.
Add ¾ cup butter to the flour mixture and beat briefly (for about 30 seconds) with a hand beater (I use the Panasonic Hand Blender). Beat the egg mixture lightly and add ½ of it to the flour mixture. Beat on High speed for about 1 minute. Add the remaining egg mixture in 2 parts, beating on high speed for 30 seconds after each addition (avoid over-beating).
Place the mixture in the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven (170ºC) till done, which will take about 50 - 60 minutes (I use the Panasonic Oven Toaster Grill). The cake will rise higher in the middle and have a characteristic split. 5 minutes after, turn out the cake and leave to cool completely on a wire rack (Wrap with a cling film or store in an air tight container over-night, for an even more delicious tasting cake the next day).
Serve the cake plain, or sprinkled with fried Mint leaves, or drizzled with a Lemon glaze icing, as explained below. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a fry pan. Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped Mint leaves, and gently stir until it begins to emit a pleasant aroma. Spread it over the cooled cake. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon / lime juice to 1/3 cup of icing sugar and mix well. Add a couple of drops of piping hot water, if necessary, to get a thick pouring consistency. Drizzle it over the cake, and let the icing set before slicing and serving your dessert.