Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pound Cakes

The name (Pound Cake) comes from the fact that the original pound cakes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. No leaveners were used other than the air whipped into the batter. In the days when many people couldn't read, this simple convention made it simple to remember recipes.

I am a fan of the pound cake whether it be buttermilk, lemon, plain, or any other of the numerous varieties you can make. Pound cakes are probably the easiest of all cakes to make from scratch. They are also very versatile. You can add any topping you like to a pound cake or if you prefer you can eat them sliced straight from the cake plate. You can make them ahead and freeze them to eat later. This is a great idea to prepare around the holidays. It is always best to have one in the freezer for unexpected guests, or births of babies, or sadly a death.

Sarah Addison Allen writes about a cake maker in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. The way she describes the flour and sugar floating in the air swirling …(quote from book) “Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails." is how I imagine the air when I am baking a cake, pure magic when those simple ingredients come together to make a heavenly delight. By the way I highly recommend Sarah Addison Allen’s books…

I have shared one of my most recent favorite and ever so easy pound cake recipes. Please share your favorite one!

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1½ cups of real butter, softened

3cups sugar

1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened

6 large eggs

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp almond extract

½ tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup strawberry glaze

Preheat oven 350

Beat butter at medium speed. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Stir in extracts. Pour 1/3 of batter into greased tube pan.

Dollop 8 rounded teaspoons of strawberry glaze over batter and swirl with a wooden skewer. Repeat once more, and top with remaining 1/3 of batter.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 min. Cool in pan for 10-15 min .