All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

le pound cake for the 4th of July

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


Martha said...

I love pound cake -- have your tried the Barefoot Contessas. Here is good as well. And I love to use the orange zest and rosemary -- makes for a great cake. I'll have to try this recipe -- often in the South, they like that little bit of "rare" in the center of their cakes. Me, I like them done all the way through!

If ever I'm going to have something in the freezer, a poundcake is what I chose!

katrina said...

I knew it, Martha! I thought I'd seen one of Ina's books with the recipe - but *gasp* I have none of her cookbooks. I was very, very tempted to add rosemary to this cake - that or lemon balm, but after two flops, I was getting stressed. I'm with you on the "rare" ( raw?) - I like my poundcake moist but baked all the way through!

My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

Hi Katrina,
I am a huge pound cake fan. Ina's did not work for me (maybe the altitude). Dorie Greenspan's came out much better. But I found the "ultimate" the other day. Please give it a try. It is a Ricotta pound cake. I have never eaten a better pound cake, I promise.
Here is the link:

FrugalMom said...

I have never tried making pound cake myself, but yours sure looks good. My mom used to make a great marble pound cake, and you really brought back memories.

katrina said...

Thanks for the link, Kirsten - I'll definitely check it out. It's always disappointing when a recipe doesn't work out - which is one reason I usually try a new recipe at least twice. I also factor in humidity and in the winter - the chilly kitchen -if a recipe isn't successful.

katrina said...

Hi j r - Oh, that must be bittersweet to be remembering your Mom. I know you miss her every day.
Glad you liked the pound cake!