Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipe: Old Fashioned Southern Pound Cake

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about cake.  Vanilla pound cake to be exact. This happens particularly often around 3 o'clock in the afternoon when I'm in need of a sugar fix. Yes, I am addicted to sugar, I guess the first step is admitting it, I doubt it will go further than that.  Usually this affliction only occurs in the afternoon. (ok, that was a lie, but a little white one).   This thinking obsessing about cake led me to work and tweak this recipe.  It is a personal conviction of mine that we all need a simple vanilla cake in our repertoire.  I wanted a cake that would stand on it's own, not needing to be iced or topped with anything at all.  Although, I will tell you I did stray just a little and only once (so far), and topped it with Amaretto Peaches, more on those later.

True Pound cake is made without leavening, which means it gets it lift from creaming eggs, sugar and butter. This is an easy process, but one you must be patient with.  Butter must be at room temperature and must be whipped with the sugar for a minimum of 3 minutes- time it! Creaming the butter and sugar on high speed with turn the mixture from grainy to soft and super fluffy, the color should also lighten a shade or two. Don't rush this process, the more you beat it the better.  Once you add the flour though, it's a whole different story- mix as lightly and little as possible so it does not become tough.

A note about measuring ingredients.  The original recipe, called for 3-1/2 cups of flour, but when I weighed it, it turns out it's only 3 cups.  My point is that with flour in particular, the way you put it in the measuring cup, either by scooping it or spooning it in has a lot to do with the outcome.  If you scoop the cup into the flour  it packs it in more, spooning it is looser and therefore less flour in the cup.  I think this is sometimes the problem when recipes don't turn out the way you expect.  Most cookbooks seldom tell you what method is used. My advice is get a scale, if you don't have one then scoop the flour for 3 cups or spoon it to yield 3-1/2 cups. For future reference in any of my recipes when there is no weight given (I will fix that soon), I always scoop.

1 lb. sugar (2 cups)
1 lb. butter, softened (4 sticks)
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 large eggs 
1 lb. all-purpose flour (3 cups) See note above.
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Grease and flour a 10" tube pan

All ingredients should be at room temperature

1. In the bowl of a large mixer, cream the sugar, butter and salt until very light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and crapping the bowl between additions. 

2. Add the flour to the butter mixture alternating with the cream.  Beginning and ending with the flour.  Stir until just incorporated, making sure to not over mix.  Remove the bowl from mixer and stir in vanilla and nutmeg to combine.

3. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 1 hour. Rotate the pan and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

4.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Unmold and serve either warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. That's a pretty slice of Pound cake and so true about the measurements of flour...makes a big difference.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...