Monday, September 13, 2010

In for a Penny...In for a Pound. Cake, that is.

The title is my attempt to be clever; I'm on the redemption train for my absence from blogging for a while. "Chew, chew!!" :)

I suppose that whatever the slippery slope, I'm stuck here doing this, since food is a part of my soul, my very existence. I need to cook; I need to share it. So, here I am, as the mood strikes.

I've been thinking about recipes that are classics; pound cake is one. Many people don't know that the name comes from the actual weight of the ingredients in the original. A pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour, combined in that order to produce this amazingly adaptable and delicious, dense cake.

I had a bit of a major melt-down over doing this post, not because I was nervous about posting again after so long but because...I couldn't find my kitchen scales! I literally tore my house apart looking for them. It ended up my husband had taken them to our shop and hadn't returned them. The only good thing that came from the incident was I finally got around to cleaning out the catch-all-pit that is euphemistically called our guest room closet. :) So, moving on...scales found.

The reason I said this recipe is adaptable is...well, it IS! You can create any flavor you wish, simply by adding it to the basic recipe. In this version, I threw in the zest from one large lemon. Since I was planning on serving the cake with macerated blackberries, I wanted a hint of tart.

Pound Cake:

1 Pound Butter (Four sticks)
1 Pound Sugar (About 2 1/5 cups)
1 Pound Eggs (8-9 Large Eggs)
1 Pound Flour (4 cups)

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time; beating thoroughly between additions. Once the eggs are fully incorporated, gradually add the flour.

At this point, you may add any flavorings you choose.

Place the batter in greased and floured pan(s). Either two large loaf pans or a bundt/tube pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool fully. the pictoral:

The Infamous Scales:

A pound of butter:

A pound of sugar:

Cream the two ingredients in a heavy mixer:

A pound of eggs (in this case it was 9 large eggs):

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each one:

A pound of flour (added gradually):

The optional this case, the zest of one large lemon:

Grease and flour your pan:

Pour the batter into the readied pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour:

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes in the pan:

Remove from the pan and continue cooling on wire rack until fully cooled:

I macerated some blackberries for the cake. Maceration is simply to soften something in liquid. In this case, I coated the blackberries with sugar, which helps to draw out the natural juices. Cover the fruit with some sugar, stir it up and let it sit for about an hour:

I whipped some heavy cream with a titch of powdered sugar and a smidgen of vanilla, et voilĂ !

Yes. I ate some. Yes. It was stupendous. Don't read it and weep...bake it and eat!


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