Monday, 17 March 2014

Pound Cake

I'm not a terribly experienced cake baker and - everything seems so precarious in cake baking - one false move and you end up with a concave mess instead of a proudly domed confection.  Bread is much more forgiving.
.. but it's birthday time in our house and I can't allow her to bake her own birthday cake.  So she has allowed me to take over at the stove and has primed me with tips and recipes.
Her favourite cake is Pound Cake - a straightforward buttery delight - and her favourite recipe is Molly Katzen's in The Moosewood Cookbook.  Molly writes in a beautifully graphic way - easy to follow classic recipes with her own beautiful illustrations.

 I've adapted her recipe a little as it makes slightly more mixture than we need for our tin!  Also she is American so I'm having to do a little cup conversion work:

300g (10oz) caster sugar
300g (10oz) butter
300g (10oz) plain flour
4 eggs
150mls (2/3 cup) milk
2 tsps Vanilla extract
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to about 350F or 180 C or Gas Mark 4

1.  Prepare your tin - butter the inside and sprinkle with flour to cover.  I'm using a bundt ring.  

2.  Put the butter and sugar together in a bowl and cream with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy

3.  Crack the eggs into the mixture one at a time - beating well after each addition.

4.  Sift the dry ingredients together and prepare the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl

5.  Add a little flour and fold in.  Then add a little of the milk.

Keep alternating between the two ending with a last addition of flour.

Don't work the batter too much at this stage - just fold in so that the flour and milk is combined - you are trying to maintain a light fluffy texture.

6.  Fill the prepared tin with the batter and smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

7.  Place in the preheated oven and bake until risen and golden brown - a cocktail stick or skewer should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Some strange bubbling took place in mine
but it hasn't affected the taste
and that bit goes on the bottom anyway!...

The cake is best kept for a couple of days before cutting, wrapped in foil and placed in an air tight tub.
Then decorate appropriately...
Then eat inappropriately...

This is a plain cake with a fine close texture.  You could fancy it up, with essences or zests or some such fol-de-rol but really the beauty of it is in its simplicity - rich, buttery and moreish.

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