Tuesday, July 15, 2014
TWD: Baking with Julia - Vanilla Pound Cake
Not only is this Vanilla Pound Cake beautiful, it is also delicious. I made it to bring to a friend's house for Independence Day here in the States, and dressed it for the occasion with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream, to give it the appropriate red, white, and blue accessories.
But to be honest, I did like the cake best when it was solo. That is when the vanilla flavor really came out and I could savor the flavor and the texture in my mouth a bit longer (instead of shoveling it in my mouth on July 4, while sharing dallops of my whipped cream with the clever boy.) This cake is not only tasty when it is made, but it is also delicious the next day, and actually for several days thereafter if wrapped well in plastic wrap. In fact, I'd almost say it was even better a day later, as it seemed like the vanilla was even more prominent at that point.
This recipe is a definite keeper. It is easy and delicious. What more do you need?
Vanilla Pound Cake
adapted from Baking with Julia
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, whisked to blend
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Position an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together onto some waxed paper or parchment paper. Set this aside.
Beat the butter in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar in a steady stream while the mixer continues to run. Stop and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Beat at medium until the butter and sugar mixture is very light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes.
With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture becomes watery or shiny stop adding eggs and turn the mixer to a higher speed until the mixture smooths out again. Then decrease the speed ad continue adding the eggs, scraping down the bowl and paddle as necessary. This process will take 3-4 minutes. The mixture is properly combined when it looks white, fluffy, and increased in volume.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour alternately with milk. There will be 4 additions of flour and 3 of milk. Scrape the bowl frequently and mix until the batter is smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix just to blend.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the pan, an cool to room temperature. Serve the cake in very thin slices.
Keep the cake covered at room temperature or wrap airtight and freeze for a month.
Very soon after making this pound cake, a friend told me that he was craving a chocolate pound cake. Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? I'd love to see it!
Check out the TWD blog to see what other bakers thought of this pound cake!