Pound Cake Tips
I have pound cake tips and secrets for preparing and baking a PERFECT pound cake every time.
Easy Cake Recipes
Learn how to guarantee moistness. More homemade pound cake recipes including various flavors at the end of the page. Let's get baking.
These tips come from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook: "Baking - From My Home to Yours."
Pound cake is a baker's basic, whether served plain or as the base for
an ice cream sundae or juicy berries. It can even be toasted and
buttered when all that remains is an inch or two of a slightly stale
Pound cake gets its name from the proportions in the classic
recipe; a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a
pound of eggs. Pound cake's primary flavor comes from butter. For this
reason you should try to use the best butter you can when you're baking
a pound cake.
Here's another pound cake tip: you must take the time to let the
ingredients warm to room temperature and mix the batter properly.
Here are a few pointers for pound cake perfection:
This is an important pound cake tip: In order to get the fine-grained texture that is the hallmark of a pound cake, have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Because there is only a touch of baking powder in the recipe, the
cake rises primarily on egg power. It's the air that is beaten into
the eggs that gives the cake its lift, and warm eggs beat to greater
volume than chilled ones do.
The butter must be at room temperature, but it shouldn't be so soft that it is oily and shapeless.
While you can mix pound cake batter by hand, a mixer is the tool of choice because you want to blend the butter and sugar as thoroughly as possible.
Don't skimp on the beating time - give the butter and sugar a good 5
minute beat, and you will be awarded with the characteristic fine crumb.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and give each egg a two minute beat after each addition.
Once the last egg goes into the mixing bowl, the beating is over.
The next step is to blend the flour into the batter, and this has to be
done gently. You can do it with a mixer, keeping the speed on the
lowest setting, or you can incorporate the flour by hand, folding it
into the batter with a sturdy rubber spatula. Either way, the mixing
time should be short - as soon as the flour disappears, stop.
Another one of my pound cake tips (secret): Because pound cake
needs a long bake in a moderate oven, I like to put the cake on an
insulated baking sheet, or on two stacked regular baking sheets - the
insulation keeps the bottom of the cake from baking too quickly and from
getting too brown. Keep an eye on the loaf as it bakes because the top
can get dark well before the loaf is baked through. If that's the
case, cover the cake loosely with a foil tent.
A cracked top is a characteristic of a pound cake. For those of you who prize precision, here's a little trick:
My pound cake tip: After the cake has been in the oven for 10
minutes and the top has developed the slightest, lightest start of a
crust, dip a dough scraper in melted butter and plunge the scraper
lengthwise into the center of the cake. This will encourage the cake to
form its crack along the scraper's straight line.
THE PERFECT POUND CAKE RECIPE
This is an old family recipe and turn out a cake with the
fresh-from-the-farm flavor of butter and eggs. It is moist and has a
soft crust that cuts beautifully whether you are slicing it thick (so it
can be a base for ice cream or syrupy fruits) or thin (to serve it
plain or with a little jam).
Another pound cake tip: The cake can be made with all-purpose
flour or cake flour. If you use cake flour the crumb will be even more
delicate and just a touch more tender. As with many butter-rich cakes,
this one is not just a good keeper, it actually improves with time. Let
the cake cool completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave it
on the counter overnight.
2 cups all purpose flour OR 2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
homemade unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
pure vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees and butter a loaf pan. Put the pan on a
insulated baking sheet or two regular baking sheets stacked one on top
of the other.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar on high speed for a full 5 minutes. Reduce
the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a full
2 minutes after each addition.
Mix in the vanilla and reduce the speed to the lowest setting you have
to mix flour mixture in until it is incorporated - don't over mix. In
fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour (or all of it) by
hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape into the prepared baking pan and
smooth the top.
Check the cake after 45 minutes. If it is browning too quickly,
cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you are using a 9x5 inch loaf
pan, you'll need to bake the cake for 70-75 minutes; the smaller loaf
pan needs 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked with a thin knife
inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack and cool 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.
You may add vanilla or almond extract to the batter (1/2 teaspoon will
do) or rub the grated zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange into the sugar
before you beat the sugar with the butter. With my pound cake tips and
recipe - you will have the perfect pound cake. Congratulations.
Pound Cake Tips to Easy Pound Cake Recipes
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