Sunday, January 12, 2020

Best Pound Cake





Pound cake got it’s name from the simple proportions used to make the batter. British in origin, the first recipes called for a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. I’m not sure what my ingredients weigh, but I guarantee the results are scrumptious!




Ingredients

  •  2 sticks butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  •  3 cups sugar
  •  7 eggs, at room temperature
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  3 cups cake flour, sifted twice
  •  1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Butter and flour (or use a flour and oil cooking spray like Baker's Joy) a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan (do not use a 2 piece angel food cake pan).
  2. Cream butter and sugar, using paddle attachment if using a stand mixer. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then mix in the salt.
  4. With mixer on low, mix in half the flour, then all the cream, and then the rest of the flour. Scrape down bowl, and beat on medium high for 5 more minutes. Batter will be satiny.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Drop the pan onto the counter once or twice to remove air bubbles. Place in lower third of a cold oven. Set oven to 350º and bake 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs.
  6. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan onto serving plate and cool completely.

Notes

I have also baked half a batch using 3½ eggs (estimating the volume of a half of a large egg), and baked in a loaf pan for 45 minutes.





Tips for Making This Perfect Pound Cake

Mixing the Pound Cake Batter

  • Start with room temperature ingredients. You can set the eggs, butter and cream out on the counter about an hour before mixing. On occasion, I will hurry along the process by putting my eggs into a bowl of warm water.
  • Using room temperature ingredients will help increase the volume of the batter.
  • Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar. This will ensure a velvety batter without incorporating a lot of air. This assists in giving the pound cake the dense crumb for which it’s known.
  • Like with a cheesecake, you only want to beat the eggs until they’re just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  • Use cake flour for a finer, more delicate crumb. Sifting three times lightens it up even more.
  • Also do not over mix the flour once it is added. Over mixing will activate the gluten, making for a tougher cake.

Baking the Pound Cake

  • Grease and flour your tube pan or use a non-stick flour and oil spray like Baker’s Joy. Do not use a 2 piece angel food cake pan as the batter will spill out of the bottom as it bakes.
  • PRO-Tip: This recipe calls for starting the cake in a cold oven. I’m not a chemist, but this may be because it will delay the leaveners from forming carbon dioxide. CO2  is responsible for making air bubbles and therefore creating a lighter, airy cake. This step is unique to some pound cake recipes.
  • Most pound cakes take an hour or more in the oven. Be patient. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean when the cake is done.
  • Let the pound cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before gently shaking and flipping it out onto the cooling rack.

Storing Your Pound Cake

  • Keep your pound cake covered at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
  • To store any longer than 4 days, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.