Pound Cake: In A League Of Its Own

Lemon-Buttermilk-Pound-Cake1-1024x650

 

We’ve never met anyone that doesn’t like pound cake. This is a super old-fashioned cake, nothing fancy, but it’s the perfect cake for afternoon teas, brunches and midnight snacking. Also because it is a basic, sturdy cake, you can doll it up anyway you like!

 

7-up-cake

 

Pound cake gets its name from its ingredients, a simple mnemonic that allows you to remember the recipe; traditional pound cake was made with one pound each of flour, sugar, eggs and butter. A cake this size, four pounds, would best be prepared in a large bundt pan, or made into two loaf pans. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use a pound of each ingredient, the idea is that all four ingredients have an equal weight. Today we are going to use half a pound of each of the aforementioned ingredients, with a hint of vanilla to jazz things up a bit.

 

Vanilla-Pound-Cake-METHOD-1

 

This sturdy cake has been around since the early seventeen hundreds, and is known by different monikers in different countries. In France, for example, they employ their own mnemonic and call it “qautre-quarts”, literally, “four quarters”, and in Mexico it is known as panqué. But leave it to the Germans to come up with the best name for it: Eischwerteig mit Fett. Egg Weight Dough with Fat. Sort of rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it.

 

What do you mean we're out of Egg-weight dough with fat...

What do you mean we’re out of Egg-weight dough with fat…

 

We like our pound cake plain, but there are innumerable ways to make it your own. For a little Caribbean flavour, drizzle a little dark rum over the cake just after it comes out of the oven. You could also add a tablespoon of lemon or orange zest to the batter, and ice it with either a lemon or orange glaze. Maybe you want to fold in some blueberries, too, for a lemon/blueberry pound cake. Or add a little almond extract, and top it with sliced almonds. A tablespoon of orange blossom water or rose water are also fragrant additions that would impart a subtle mood. This is a proud, simple cake that doesn’t mind getting dressed up once in a while.

 

with blueberries and lemon

with blueberries and lemon

 

Pound Cake

makes 1 9×5 loaf pan sized cake.

1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

Optional glaze; mix 1 cup icing sugar with 2-3 tablespoons lemon or orange juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan by lightly buttering it and dusting it with flour. Set aside. In a large bowl cream the butter with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the sugar, beating until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then slowly add the flour, beating all the while. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for one hour. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.



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