Tuesday, February 14, 2012

classic pound cake

My friend Kiana puts on amazing teacher appreciation events at our neighborhood elementary school.  Today she's setting up a chocolate fountain with all sorts of things the teachers and staff can dip into the chocolate- strawberries, bananas, pretzels, rice crispy treats, tiny heart shaped sugar cookies and this pound cake.  This recipe has been in my "to try" binder for a long time so I was happy to pull it out since I'd almost forgotten about it.  My family is going to enjoy fondue tonight for our Valentine's dessert and I threw some poppy seeds into our loaf.  At the end of the recipe you'll find lots of great ideas of how to make all sorts of different delicious cakes.

classic pound cake (Martha Stewart Living Magazine, not sure of the month and year)
1 pound flour (3 1/4 cups) (weigh your flour for best results!  1 pound for me was 3 cups of flour)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans.  Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for 8 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Reduce speed to medium and add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.  Lightly beat 9 eggs and add in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated.  Divide batter between pans.  Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.  Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 65 minutes.  Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire rack.  Makes 2 cakes.

poppy seed: Fold in 1 tablespoon poppy seeds into finished batter.
chocolate: Use 1 cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder in place of 1 cup flour. 
chocolate marble: Prepare 4 loaf pans.  Make 1 batch classic pound cake batter and 1 batch chocolate pound cake batter.  Scoop batters into prepared pans, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating plain and chocolate.  Swirl with a knife.  Makes 4 cakes.
blueberry sour cream: Use 1/2 cup sour cream in place of 1 stick of butter.  Toss 2 cups blueberries in 2 tablespoons flour; fold into finished batter.  Before baking, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sanding sugar over each cake.
cherry preserves: Fold 1 cup cherry preserves into finished batter.
vanilla bean: Use seeds of 1 vanilla bean in place of vanilla extract.
toasted coconut: Fold 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut into finished batter.  Before baking, sprinkle 1/3 cup additional coconut over each cake; tent with foil to bake.
cinnamon raisin: Toss 2 cups raisins into 2 tablespoons flour; fold into finished batter.  Divide batter in half.  Fold 2 tablespoons cinnamon into 1 half.  Scoop batters into 2 prepared pans, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating plain and cinnamon.  Swirl with a knife.
chocolate chip: Fold 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips into finished batter.

What I have to say- I made 3 loaves so I know you can half the recipe to make only 1 loaf if you desire.  Great recipe!

1 comment: