Thursday, January 22, 2009

So, since the recipe from tonight is a repeat and since we're having an exceptional (not to mention UNUSUAL for us) dessert, I had to share. Today T and I made my stepfather's pound cake. Now, pound cake is often beloved, but rarely is it as truly transcendent as this recipe makes it. This is not a true pound cake, as you do not use a pound of flour or sugar or butter. That said, it has a richness and a crumb that I have never found paralleled. There are very few ingredients (6!), but the secret is to BEAT, BEAT, BEAT! This cake responds to hearty mixing, so don't skip a step when you could be mixing. I use my Kitchen Aid on HIGH! Also, don't skip the sifting. I rarely sift, but this is a time to do so. As this is distinctly not a health food we almost never make this, but I have been hankering after this dessert for quite a while. T has been loving to bake with me and so I decided to do it. Yes, we're giving half to our neighbors.

The best pound cake recipe ever:

Tom's Pound Cake
Makes 1 tube pan

Note: This is truly best made in a shiny silver one-piece tube pan (not non-stick). Grease well.

8 oz block cream cheese
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar, measure and then sift
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 t vanilla
3 cups flour, measure and then sift

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan.

Thoroughly cream the cream cheese and butter. Add sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between additions. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour last, one cup at a time, beating well between each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.

If your tube pan has a tube insert (is two pieces instead of one), press the insert firmly into the base and place the pan on a baking sheet with sides as the batter can leak out in between the two pieces.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes (NO MORE!). The top should turn a deep brown with pale fissures. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness - it SHOULD have crumbs on it. Do not overbake, as the crust will get tough.

Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and invert to remove cake. Cool right side up until completely cool. You can serve with berries or whipping cream, but that is truly gilding the lily with this cake.


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