Pounding Out Pound Cakes
With the holidays rolling around, I, an emotional baker, find myself baking fairly frequently. Among the classic dark chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies have been a copious amount of vanilla pound cakes that somehow always vanish from the counter within 24 hours. I stumbled upon a recipe on myrecipe.com.
The recipe calls for:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Line bottom and long sides of pan with parchment, leaving about an inch of overhang on both sides.
- Grease and flour paper and pan, tapping out excess.
- Sift flour and salt together into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Put butter, vanilla and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until light and pale, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well and then scraping bowl between each.
- With mixer on low, add flour to mixture gradually until it is fully incorporated; do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Being the good little baker I am, I read the ingredient list and process as more of a “suggestion” the first time I made this. First, I preheated the oven at 325°F. Then, I took out the bundt pan instead of the loaf pan (because who the heck has loaf pans lying around) and did not grease the pan or line it with parchment paper…oops.
As for the ingredients, I got two separate bowls. One bowl for the flour (which I did not sift) and the salt. The other bowl is for the butter, vanilla, and sugar. The butter was salted and definitely not room temperature so I ended up having to use a shredder for it. I am a firm believer that there can never be too much vanilla in a dessert, so a hefty tablespoon of vanilla extract was added to the mixture before adding the 5 large eggs all at once that were straight from the fridge. Once the flour was gradually added to the mix, it was ready to be put into the bundt pan and into the oven for what seemed like an eternity.
Taking out the cake nearly an hour and a half later, I still had to wait another twenty minutes for it to cool down enough to flip onto a plate. Flipping the cake was a whole other challenge in itself. It was then that I realized the need for the parchment paper. The butter knife scraping the edges of the pan in efforts to unstick the cake from the pan was sufficient in the end.
To top off the beautiful cake, I mixed together some powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water to make a sugar glaze. It. Looked. Beautiful. It tasted pretty good too….if I do say so myself. Try it out for your next holiday gathering or if you’re just feeling a bit down and need some comfort dessert and have two hours to spare!