Thursday, 19 November 2015

Pound Cake

I've baked many cakes in my life, but it is this humble pound cake that has given me my proudest moment as a baker. Yes a pound cake and you will want to know why and how. So here's the thing. I have eaten and baked a few pound cakes, but honestly , consistently found them boring or dense. Which is exactly why, I had a dream to find a recipe for and bake the perfect pound cake. I came across many recipes for pound cake, but none could pursuade me as much as the picture of a pound cake  in Dorie Greenspan's book " Baking from my home to yours." When I saw that picture, I knew, this had to be the recipe I was looking for.

Finding myself in a more than usual compulsive urge to bake cakes, owing to this weather we got going here in Bangalore, I finally put the recipe to test. With this accomplished, I can proudly tick off another item off the food bucket list.. Yayyyyy!!!!!!

I can't stop raving about this cake. I also can't believe I didn't try it out sooner but most of all I'm glad I finally did and that I discovered the joy of baking a melt in your mouth cake. I've baked cakes that tasted great, that were moist and fluffy, that were rich and creamy, but this was the first cake that literally melted in my mouth. The cake has a slightly crunchy top, owing to the slightly longer than usual baking time, but has a perfect "disappear when you bite" texture otherwise. It is a humble pound cake, but trust me, it'll make you feel proud for baking something that tasted so good.

It's a buttery cake, which means , it can keep longer, but it also means, it's buttery and soft, so you'll hog a lot of it too soon too fast and won't have any left to keep for longer. It uses a good amount of butter ; 225 gms and eggs ; 4, so it's a good time to stay off that calorie counting.

I love Dorie Greenspans' books because she narrates so well, telling you exactly what to expect while trying out a particular recipe. The pound cake she says "cuts beautifully" and this couldn't be more true. The cake cuts beautifully, but make sure you let the baked cake cool down a good 30 mins before you take it out of the tin and let it cool completely before you slice it. You can cut perfect slices, thin or thick with this one.

I used a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin as the recipe suggested. You can also use a smaller loaf tin, and it'll require slightly longer baking time.

My few couple of things to keep in mind while baking this cake are ; 1. The batter is quite thick; so don't be alarmed. Light cakes don't necessarily mean light batters. 2. Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature before you start. You need to beat the butter a good 5 minutes with the sugar and that's no fun if you have just out of the fridge butter. 3. As the cake needs to bake for a really long time, the crust might overcook. If you do find it browning too fast, cover the cake with a loose tent of foil, after the cake has baked for about 35 mins.

Here we go .

Pound Cake


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder.
1/4 tsp salt
225 gms ( 2 sticks) butter at room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 175 C. Butter a 9 x  5 inch loaf tin. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder.
2. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy, for about 5 mins using an electric beater.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Toss in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour in batches, mixing only till incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
5. Pour the thick batter into the prepared tin and bake for 70 mins . The cake is done, when a skewer inserted into the deep center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Let the cake cool in the tin on a wire rack for 30 mins before you take it out. Cut the cake into slices when it has cooled down completely.

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