Most descriptions of pound cakes make them sound something like blocks of styrofoam – white, spongy, resilient. Often dense, dry, tasteless, or flat are tossed in for good measure. Worse, sometimes they are greeted by silence. Pound cakes are remembered as the boring, heavy old English dessert that no one actually wants. They are relegated to the freezer aisle and left to die a frozen, crumby death.
I don’t actually remember the last time I had a pound cake. I avoided them like the plague. Luckily for me (and you!), mono seems to act like pregnancy. I get random cravings for foods I either haven’t had or have previously hated. Don’t ask me how it happens, but it does.
So yesterday was “I crave pound cake” day. I decided to make a true pound cake – a pound of butter, sugar, flour, eggs and nothing else (except a little vanilla.) Honestly, I didn’t even look up a recipe. I just weighed out the ingredients and mixed them together. And, because I’m obsessed with beating egg whites, I separated those out and then folded them in for a little fluffiness.
You know what? I like pound cake. It’s easy to make. It’s comforting. It’s fantastic. It’s a great base for desserts. (You know what else? I’m going to buy one of those beautiful cake plates with a glass dome, and put a pound cake underneath it. Yum yum.)
Notes: This is pretty easy to make. Feel free to put in a different flavoring (lemon zest would be good). This also would probably double well into a bundt pan, but make sure you grease and flour well.
Allow an hour. Makes one loaf cake.
2 cups flour (1/2 lb)
1 1/4 cups sugar (1/2 lb)
4 eggs, separated (1/2 lb)
1 cup butter (1/2 lb)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour one loaf pan.
2) Cream butter and one cup of the sugar until light and fluffy – seven or eight minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla and continue to beat until lemon colored, another four or five minutes.
3) Stir in flour.
4) Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
5) Fold egg whites into batter in three portions.*
6) Spread batter in loaf pan. Bake for 45-50** minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*It’s easiest to stir the first third of the egg whites in, then fold in the remaining two portions.
**Some pound cakes cook much more quickly, so start checking at 35 minutes.