Friday, May 29, 2009
I think me and pound cake are done, professionally. #1, was bland and disappointing. #2, was okay but dry and nothing special. #3, I completely screwed up (under-baked in an attempt to not dry it out) AND it tasted junky. #4, was the best yet but still not Perfection In A Loaf Pan. What can I say; I seek perfection.
With four, count them, FOUR ultimate disappointments, I think I'm through with pound cake. At least for now. Maybe I'll go back to it some day. I just need to move on.
I would like to share this recipe, however, because it did come out the best of what I tried. It was from the ever-trustworthy Williams-Sonoma. It wasn't dry but not overly moist. It came out nice and soft (due to the very light and fluffy beat-the-butter phase) but not entirely a cake-like consistency. It was definitely worth making though I, personally, will probably continue on, in search of the Perfect pound cake before I make this again.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional - but seriously do it)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, preferably glass, and dust with flour.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until blended. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until just blended. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until both are just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream, then sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap gently on the counter to even out and settle the ingredients. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Place the cake on one of its sides and continue cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.