Monday, June 18, 2007
Not my idea of perfection
--Perfection Pound Cake
Perfection Pound Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours Copyright 2006
2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 ¼ cups cake flour I used the cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan or an 8 ½ x 4 ½ -inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or two regular baking sheets stacked on top of each other.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beaters often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated – don’t overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you’re using a 9x5-inch pan, you’ll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.
Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.
I pretty much followed this recipe to the letter but I wasn't pleased with the results. I found the cake to be too dry. The flavor was great - it tasted like shortbread - but I like a moister pound cake. Maybe I just have the wrong idea of pound cake. I didn't use the fancy butters suggested by Dorie but I think she suggested those more for flavor than moistness. I really like those pound cakes made with cream cheese or sour cream but I chose this one at the last minute because the other recipes I had chosen were larger and I decided I only needed one loaf instead of a tube pan full of poundcake.
I served this with strawberries, whipped cream and ice cream so that helped. No one ate it plain. Thank God or I may have had to perform the Heimlech maneuver.
Luckily I also made the modern version of Chocolate Refrigerator Cake that's been going around. I saw it over at Dine and Dish. Mine was not nearly as pretty looking but it was a huge hit. I made it at least once, in the traditional roll form, when I was young. My husband's mother and grandmother had never heard of it! I was already asked to make it again.
So the Father's Day cookout is over and it went pretty smoothly. I made rolls, pasta salad and the desserts ahead of time. The chicken was marinated overnight and I put together a relish tray in the morning and then shucked the corn. I only had to grill the chicken and kielbasis and cook the corn to put it all together. Easy-peasy but between cooking and cleaning I was going for two days straight.
No Blast From the Past today. I'm just feeling too lazy.
Question of the Day: Have you ever had Chocolate Refrigerator Cake (made with Nabisco Chocolate Wafers)?