Monday, July 05, 2010

Pound Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

I have a confession to make. I don't really like cake. It's too fluffy and nonexistent for the calories involved. I like food with substance--thick, fudgey brownies; chunky, chewy cookies; and rich, buttery pound cake. Quite possibly the only cake worth an appearance on the dessert menu.

So when my birthday came by last month, I knew exactly what kind of birthday cake I wanted and set out to make myself a pound cake. My mother had sent me a copy of Dessert by William Sonoma for my birthday that just happened to have a recipe for pound cake.

Makes: 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

PREHEAT the oven to 325F
GREASE a 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" loaf pan
DUST with flour

WHISK flour, baking soda, and salt together until blended
BEAT butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until light and fluffy
ADD eggs, one at a time
BEAT until just blended
ADD half of the flour mixture
STIR until just incorporated
STIR in sour cream
ADD remainder of flour mixture
STIR until evenly distributed

POUR batter into pan
TAP pan gently on counter to even out ingredients

BAKE ~70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

My Thoughts
1. This was absolutely classic pound cake. The texture was perfect and the almond extract gave it the oomph needed to be "real" pound cake.

2. That said, I still felt it needed just a little something else to take it over the top. We added fresh strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream for a strawberry short cake vibe. But fresh whipped cream, chocolate sauce or shavings, other fresh fruit--the possibilities are endless.

3. The book offered some variations including lemon and ginger, both of which sounded interesting. I would also like to try this with some orange zest and a chocolate topping.

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