Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plain Pound Cake

Pound cake is a great traditional cake which does not only taste fantastic on its own, but because of its light and spongy texture it's also used as the base of a lot of other desserts like trifle, tiramisu or all sorts of other layered cakes with frosting...
Check out this link for more info about pound cake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_cake

Nowadays, to make your life easier, you can find freshly baked, packaged and, I must add, great tasting and inexpensive pound cake with the proper texture in the bakery section of most grocery stores, and turn it into a decadent dessert. So, unless you can't make it to the grocery store on that day, you really do not need to bake your own.

But if you want to make it yourself, which will also spare you and your family eating a lot of added preservatives and artificial ingredients, try below recipe. It is from celebrity chef Ina Garten and it is really simple. I used to think I could not make it at home as well as the bakeries do, but this one is quite close; as long as you apply below recipe correctly, you will get yourself a pound cake with good taste and texture.

And pound cake is really like a blank canvas; the plain one asks only for vanilla flavor; but on top of vanilla, you can add other flavors you like to make it richer and more interesting; like lemon zest, orange zest, almond extract, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, cocoa powder etc.
Choose to add one extra flavoring per batch, since pound cake really brings out the taste of whatever flavor you add, you would not want to add too many flavors into one cake and make them compete with each other.

Ingredients: (Makes one 8x4x2 1/2"-loaf)
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Grease and flour (or spray with no-stick cooking spray with flour) a 8 x 4 x 2 1/2"-loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, mix (=cream) the butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a bowl combine buttermilk or yogurt and vanilla extract. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix in the flour and yogurt mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. (Do not over mix.) - You can also measure and put the dry ingredients directly into the sieve, instead of a bowl, and sift it into the batter gradually.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan, smooth out the top and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean (Start checking at 45 minutes).
  • Let the cake cool down completely to room temperature, and then take it out of the pan.

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