I'm not sure what it is about summer berry season that made me think about pound cake. Maybe it's the rich and eggy but plain buttery cake that goes so well with a spoonful of ginger ice cream and fresh blueberries. Or raspberries, strawberries. My father used to eat pound cake lightly toasted, spread with marmalade with blueberries or bananas on the side, for a summer breakfast, something I also indulge in. Whatever it is, I merrily whipped up a pound cake two days ago, only to cut it open to a river of uncooked batter running through it. A second cake collapsed as it sat on the cooling rack. Third time lucky, I tried Martha Stewart's recipe from her first cookbook, Entertaining, and finally was presented with golden-crumbed, moist but tender slices of perfect pound cake. Martha insists it is called "le cake" in France, but that could mean anything from chocolate to meringue , so "le pound cake" it is. Enjoy!
To make one loaf:
Preheat oven to 340F
Butter a 6-cup loaf pan. Line it with waxed paper, pressing the paper firmly to the loaf pan, then butter the waxed paper. Set aside.
2 extra-large eggs
2 extra-large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon, lime, or orange zest
1 T. vanilla
1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Beat the eggs, zest, and sugar until light and creamy - about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix well. Using a sieve or sifter, sift the flours into the egg mixture, along with the baking powder. Mix well again.
Add the soft butter and gently mix into the batter , beating only briefly to incorporate the butter completely.
Scrape into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for an hour, or until the top is golden and feels firm when gently pressed with a finger.
Remove to cooling rack for 20 minutes, then unmold, carefully pulling off the waxed paper.
Slice and serve with berries and whipped cream, plain, or with ice cream.
~What I'm reading:
Anthill, by E.O. Wilson
The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman