Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pound Cake

I finally got a copy of Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and wanted to try making something from the famed book. Since I didn’t really have an occasion to make anything fancy, I decided to make her Perfect Pound Cake. I decided to make the marbled variation, with the addition of a little almond extract. I have to say, this pound cake was good, but I wouldn’t call it perfect. I’m not entirely sure that I can say what was missing, although I didn’t think it was quite moist enough. I also thought that the outside of the loaf got a little too crisp, but it certainly didn’t reach the point of burning, so I can’t complain much. The main failing may have been my use of inferior (Kroger brand) butter. The book recommends using the best butter you can find, and using something of better quality probably would have improved the flavor. On the plus side, this recipe is really fast to throw together. Overall it was good, but I think I’ll keep searching for a favorite.

Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Pound Cake

2 cups all purpose flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
½ tsp almond extract 
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar for five minutes.

2. While the butter is beating, in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt

3. Turn the mixer up to medium speed. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating for 1-2 minutes after each addition, and regularly scraping down the sides. Add the vanilla and almond extract along with the last egg.

4. Fold the flour mixture gently into the butter mixture. Divide the batter in half, and add half of it to the chocolate. Fold the batter and the chocolate together.

5. Spoon the batters into the loaf pan using large spoonfuls, alternating regular and chocolate batters. Once all of the batter is in the pan, swirl a butter knife through the cake, this will make it marble. Smooth the top of the cake.

6. Place the loaf pan on an insulated cookie sheet, or on two regular cookie sheets placed one inside the other. Bake the pound cake for 70-75 minutes, or until a knife stuck into the middle comes out clean.

7. Take the cake out of the oven and let it rest in its pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan, and invert to remove the cake. Let it cool to room temperature.

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