This is a marble cake made with cherry blossom-flavored azuki beans that are only sold at this time of year. I added a spring-like aroma with cherry blossom liqueur to really get people in the mood for this upcoming spring.
Let the butter and eggs return to room temperature. Sift together the cake flour and baking powder. Grease the cake tin with butter and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Add the softened butter to a bowl and cream with a whisk. Add the sugar and keep mixing until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
Add the well-beaten eggs a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. If you add it all at once the mixture tends to separate so be careful. Add the sakura liqueur.
Sift in the powder ingredients and fold in gently with a rubber spatula.
Add 1/4 of the mixture to a separate container and mix well with the sakura-an. Add the lot back into the original mixture and give it a quick stir. Don't mix it too much or you won't get a good marble pattern! Fold in gently.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 180°C. Stick a skewer into the center of the cake and if it comes back out clean, then the cake should be ready.
If you add sakura liqueur, your pound cake will have an even stronger cherry blossom fragrance. I bought a bottle at a baking shop.
I tried making a marble pound cake with koshi-an and sakura-an as well.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to use sakura and red bean paste in something other than Japanese confections, so I tried mixing it into a cake.
This cake will turn a lovely pink color even without any food coloring added.