Pound Cake

It seems everyone and their cat has a recipe for pound cake. This is the one I use regularly, which I like because it's quite simple (and gets rave reviews from Dave Finkelstein). The original recipe came from the book Easy Basics for Good Cooking, by the editors of Sunset Magazine, whatever that is[1]. The original recipe called for powdered sugar, but I typically don't keep much of that on hand, so I always make it with granulated sugar and find that works just fine.

[1] Since writing that, I heard from <kneedham@theriver.com> that SUNSET magazine is ``a magazine of western living -- drawing a line straight down, on the map, from Montana to New Mexico-west. Has everything about traveling, all kind of Indian, Mexican, and the melting pot of culture. Each month, $26 a year, 1-800-777-0117. Lots of recipes if you like spices!'' Thanks for the info. :)

It's nice to vary this with fruity additions. I know my mother makes a pound cake with cherries in it, but I haven't tried that yet. My usual modification is to defrost and add a few tablespoons of orange juice concentrate just after the eggs (instead of the vanilla). My sister has done this with lemon juice too, and that seems to work fine.

The main thing to keep in mind when making this is to take the butter and eggs out of the fridge a few hours ahead of time so that they can warm up and soften. This makes mixing everything together a snap. I also typically only make this recipe in half batches, i.e. one loaf pan at a time, but it freezes well, so there should really be no problem with making two loaves at once if you like.

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour dust a 10-inch tube pan or two 9x5 inch loaf pans and set aside. [I usually don't bother with the flour dusting.]

Cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla then the flour. [I find this is perfectly easy to do with a simple wooden spoon if the ingredients are at room temperature, but the original recipe calls for using a blender. If you've got one (and don't mind the mess) I suppose you might as well use it.]

Spoon batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for one hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

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Pound Cake
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Brian Edmonds <brian@gweep.ca> February 22, 1998
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