"People go nuts for it. No one's ever had cake this flavor before," says Jalane Sclafani about her pound cake. She invented the recipe by adding the seasonings she liked in her mother-in-law's anise-sesame cookies to a friend's recipe for pound cake. Slice and eat the cake plain or top with coarsely chopped and sugared strawberries or peaches.
About 3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
About 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
With a mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to blend well with each addition. Beat in lemon peel and anise extract.
Mix 1 1/4 cups flour with baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to batter, mixing slowly to incorporate dry ingredients, then beat at medium speed until well blended.
Scrape batter into a buttered and flour-dusted 4 1/2- by 8-inch loaf pan. Spread level.
Bake in a 325° oven until cake is golden and just begins to pull from pan sides, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack about 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate and serve warm or cool, cut into thin slices.