Finally, things are starting to settle down. A new house is rapidly becoming home for us. Three pecan trees in the front – can’t wait for pecans to fall so we can roast and freeze and store them – and a fenced yard in the back for the two furry children, who are thrilled to have room to run and bushes to lay under. Hardwood floors, lots of closet space, and the kitchen – oh sweet kitchen. Open space, with windows to the front yard (and the elderly neighbors’ three acres of flower gardens). New and new-to-us appliances, barely used or loved – until now. I have a brand-new stove and chest freezer – the thrill! The chest freezer has gotten its love and is slowly accumulating frozen meats, unbaked baguettes and the remainder of my birthday DQ icecream cake. (Don’t hate.) And the range has gotten more than its share so far with plenty of sautéing, pan-frying and water-boiling going on. But the oven… the poor, neglected oven has yet to experience any baked goods, so far serving only to warm leftovers or food-gifts for a large family supper.
I wanted a recipe that would showcase my appreciation for this new appliance in my home, something that would fill the house with warmth and love. A banana nut bread thought popped up, but alas – no nuts in the house. A desire for popovers popped up one morning, but I can’t seem to find my regular muffin tins. Breads are intended, but mostly for freezing and baking later, and besides, we don’t need fresh bread right now. No other recipe spoke to me. What recipe would share that feeling I wanted in my house, the homey loving wanted feeling?
Of course. How could I be so silly?
By now, you must think my world revolves around pound cake. Three recipes flitting around? I have to be obsessed. Not really. There’s just nothing simpler, more comforting or more versatile than pound cake. My wedding cake was pound cake (then again, most large bakery recipes are, in some form or fashion). It can be plain, flavored, ganached or glazed, topped with buttercream or flowers or berries and cream and it still tastes awesome.
Nothing against Great-great-great Grandpa Fulghum, but I just didn’t have time for a massive pound cake undertaking. I wanted it now. I had four brand-new baby bundts I wanted to use, and I didn’t want to keep filling and refilling them all night. So I searched through all those files I keep bookmarked on Delicious and came up with a recipe from food is luv. Perfect pound cake. And I thought, “well, let’s give it a go.” So I did.
Keep in mind, however, that this is one of those recipes which cannot be completely successfully replicated without all the proper ingredients. I had to substitute – where we are now does not allow for “running out” to the store, necessarily – all-purpose and cornstarch for cake flour, and while my cakes were good, they were not as dense as I would have liked. The crumb, however, was perfect.
Perfect Pound Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c (less 2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour, measured and sifted
2 Tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Butter and flour four 6” bundts. Whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt; set aside. Whisk together cream and vanilla; set aside. In an electric mixer or separate mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated. Add flour in three batches, alternating with cream, beginning with flour and ending with flour. Mix so that everything is well incorporated but don’t overmix. Pour or spoon batter into bundts, filling to half, put bundts on a baking sheet and set on middle rack of a cold oven. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes, until crumb has formed and tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire racks for 5-10 minutes, then invert and let cool completely.
Makes 6-8 mini-bundts.
Oh, by the way – definitely don’t overfill these. In a studious stupor, I filled mine to the top and was rewarded with mini-bundt toadstools. Cute if presented properly, and still super tasty, but if you want to showcase the bundt shape, no toadstools for you.
These toadstools, by the way, make excellent breakfast.