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Pound Cake

My family is having a family reunion for my mom’s side of the family which has been dubbed “Cinco de Branco” because it always happens near Cinco de Mayo. Since I’m the baker in the house, my mom asked me to make a dessert (and chocolate chip cookies) for the shindig. Since it’s May and, hopefully, it’ll be warm I figured something light would be good. And whats better than pound cake with homemade whipped cream and some strawberries?

Homemade pound cake with homemade whipped cream and some strawberries. That’s what. With this idea in mind, I went on the hunt through my starred blog posts on Google Reader. When Brown Eyed Baker’s  Pound Cake post came up, I knew I had a winner. Her blog is full of amazingly yummy desserts, go check it out – but don’t try to put on your skinny jeans afterwords ;).

This pound cake tastes like a Sara Lee pound cake, which is my family’s standard, but sooo much lighter. Because I’m used to the Sara Lee pound cake which is very heavy I thought I’d done something wrong, but the more I ate it…ahem…the more I loved the light, airy texture and the  buttery and slightly sweet taste. It took about 5 minutes to mix, and I did mix in the flour by hand so I didn’t over mix it. Next time I think I’ll try it with cake flour. The longest part of this cake is letting it bake, which is broken up at the 45 minute mark to cover with foil.

I did wait until it browned a little bit more than the 45 minute mark – but I’d cover at 45 minutes. The cake was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it could have been a tad bit moister. So the moral of this story is to cover your pound cake with foil at the 45 minute mark.

Perfection Pound Cake

(Source: Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours” p. 222)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2-1/4 cups cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan or an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated – don’t overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.

Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you’re using a 9×5 pan, you’ll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest 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.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.

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