Sunday, January 1, 2017


Happy New Year!  Let's hope this one goes a bit better.

I decided to make poundcake for a fondue dipper instead of buying it, just for the experience.  However, I didn't want months of poundcake lurking in the freezer.  It took quite a while to find a recipe without a prime number of eggs.  In the end, I found this one on Allrecipes with a traditional proportion of ingredients that uses six eggs.  I made a 1/3 recipe to fill two mini-loaf pans.  It will also make one slightly under-portioned standard loaf.

Poundcake has that name because it consists of a pound of each of the main ingredients, plus enough milk and extracts to suit the baker's taste.  It's risen by whipped eggs only and given structure by the all-purpose flour.  Don't be tempted to use all cake flour in this one; it needs more gluten than that.  You can substitute up to half of the flour with cake flour, but I used all regular for the traditional feel.

This is not going to have the same texture as a Sara Lee or supermarket cake.  Those are halfway between a true poundcake and a spongecake.  This is more dense and prone to drying out.  It also tastes great toasted with a topping of fruit and whipped cream, or spread with Nutella or jam.  Poundcake is a blank slate for whatever your meal requires.  It can even be staled out and run through the food processor as a substitute for streusel topping.  Go wild.

2/3 (slightly over 10 Tb) unsalted butter
1 C sugar
2 eggs
4/3 C flour
3 Tb milk
1/4 tsp extract (I used lavender, you could use vanilla, almond, or coconut…anything)

1.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a standard loaf pan or two minis, then line with parchment or wax paper.

2.  Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until very pale and smooth.  This is your leavening.

3.  Add flour and milk in alternating amounts; 1/3 C flour, 1 Tb milk, etc.  Beat only until combined.  Add the flavoring extract with one of the milk additions.

4.  Spread the paste in the pan(s).  Bake for 60 minutes and check for doneness.  Add on time in 5 minute increments until toothpick comes up clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out and peel off paper.  Cool completely before storing.  Cakes taste better the next day, and even better out of the freezer with ice cream on top.

Makes 1 loaf

Difficulty rating  π  (the hardest part was the math)

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