Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bon Appetit Desserts: Classic Pound Cake

In 2011, I got the cookbook 'Bon Appetit Desserts' and I talked about it here: Dessert Time

At the time, I thought it would be great to bake my way through this book.  I never did.  In fact, I have not made a single recipe from this book and I find that to be quite sad.  Why have a cookbook that you do not use?  So, as I sit here on my summer break, with nothing to do, because I thought I would be working at a summer camp serving coffee, or helpings kids at the craft cabin; I have decided to start baking my way through this book, now.  I figure that I can make about 28 by the end of the year.  That would be one recipe per week.

There are 631 pages of recipes... so it should take me approximately 12 years to bake my way through this book.  TWELVE YEARS! Ahh!

I will start in the first chapter, which is all about cakes.  I will bake one cake every Sunday, if I can and I will give half of the cake to my mom, to take to work.  Nurses need sweets.  It is an unwritten rule.

Bon Appetit Desserts is the cookbook for all things sweet and wonderful... it says it right on the cover.

We start this journey today, with the Classic Pound Cake.

This is a one whisk recipe, so pretty much any one can make this!  I am pretty sure every recipe can be made by any normal at home cook.  They just have to have the time, because some recipes have many steps.

I hope that you will join me in this adventure.  I will post the recipe every week, so that you too can make it, at home.

Shall we get started?!

You're going to love this cake for three different reasons.  1.  It takes about 10 minutes to make and get the batter into the oven. 2.  You'll have hardly any dishes to wash in the end.  3.  Since it has a long baking time, you can busy yourself with other tasks while it is baking... or not.

Photo taken by me, Tiffiny H.

Classic Pound Cake

Originally made with a pound each of eggs, flours, butter, and sugar, this cake has been an American and British staple for more than 200 years.  Over time, cooks have tweaked the recipe by adjusting the original proportions; adding leavening, such as baking powder, and liquids, like sour cream or milk; and incorporating all kinds of flavorings, from vanilla to chocolate.  Yet it remains a classically simple and delicious treat.  8 to 10 servings

1-3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar

1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.  Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan.  Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until blended well. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.  Beat in vanilla. Beat in half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour mixture.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.  Cool cake in pan 10 minutes.  Cut around pan sides to loosen cake.  Turn cake out onto rack.  Turn right side up and cool completely.

Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Wrap in foil and store at room temperature.

Here is a link for a bunch of pound cakes, on the Bon Appetit website.  They are a great source.  I used to get their magazine all of the time, but now just find what I need on their website, or from e-mails that they send me.  Enjoy! Bon Appetit

I learned that 1 hour and 15 minutes was too long for this pound cake to bake in my oven.  So, I would suggest checking on your pound cake after the 1 hour mark.  It is always best not to open the oven during the first hour of baking.  I hope this helps!

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