Sunday, September 13, 2009

SMS: Perfect Pound Cake


This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays treat is Perfect Pound Cake. Whenever superlatives such as “perfect” or “best” are pre-assessed by a recipe’s author (Cook’s Illustrated,* I’m looking at you), I inevitably set my expectations for the outcome high. I can’t say I eat a lot of pound cake these days, but a few years back I was rather taken with a highly cravable buttermilk pound cake from Whole Foods (I don’t know if they still sell it since I had to make myself stop purchasing it and I don’t really peruse the pre-made baked good sections these days), so I was happy to revisit pound cake with the Sweet Melissa group this week.



I made a half recipe in two mini loaf pans, and since I wasn’t sure what my plans for serving for the cake were, I decided to add mini chocolate chips to one of the loaves. The chocolate turned out to be a good idea since we ended up taking that loaf as a snack to a baseball game last night, and I think I might have found the plain cake a little dry on its own, though the more I ate, the more I liked it. I thought the lightly sweet vanilla flavor was excellent and my house smelled amazing while the cake was baking. I mentioned recently that I have gotten better with the math for scaling back recipes, but don’t always do so well with the baking time, which may have contributed to the dryness: I baked the two mini loaves for thirty minutes at 325 degrees, which may have been about three or four minutes too long. The second loaf is patiently waiting to be eaten; I’m thinking of making a lime glaze and pairing it with some homemade raspberry ice cream tonight. This recipe rated a 7.5 for Deliciousness and a 2 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 3.75. Many thanks to Michele of Veggie Num Nums for selecting this cake. You can find the recipe HERE on Michele’s site, plus lots of other yummy vegetarian goodies. And visit the SMS blogroll to see what the other bakers thought of this recipe.



*I recently purchased a stack of old Cook’s Illustrated magazines (mid to late nineties – I had no idea Mark Bittman and Nick Maglieri used to be regular contributors!) at a library book sale, and yesterday when I was cleaning up a bit, I noticed one of the magazines does in fact have an article entitled “Perfect Pound Cake: New Mixing Method Yields Ideal Texture” with a recipe called “The Best Pound Cake” and now I want to try that recipe too!



Kitchen cleanup crew in action!

19 comments:

Mrs. G said...

Looks like your doggie didn't plan on getting caught (lol). That lime glaze sounds good. I put a lemon glaze on my pound cake, but it only helped so much.

Tracey said...

Your loaves look fantastic Margot! I contemplated adding some kind of chips to my loaf but I decided not to this go round. Next time I'll definitely either do chocolate chips or try to marble the loaf. Your mini loaves look terrific! Love your idea to make a lime glaze and combine it with some ice cream. I'm going to give most of mine away or I'm sure I'll wind up eating the rest of the loaf with the lemon curd ice cream I made this weekend :)

lakegirl16 said...

I love the idea of the chocolate chips. Your clean up crew is just like mine, if only they could load and unload the dishwasher :).

Nina said...

Oh, I love the chocolate chips added! It's quite clever to get your dog to clean up. My friend is my cleanup crew with cookie dough, he LOVES cookie dough. He wants to just make cookie dough and forget about baking the cookies.

Sarah said...

I'm sure the chocolate chips were a great addition to the pound cake, it looks wonderful with them. I hope you make the other recipes soon, I'd like to try some other pound cake recipes, this one wasn't perfect to me, though it was quite yummy.

Jennifer said...

The chocolate chips are a wonderful addition. I loved that pic of your hungry pup!

Megan said...

Ha ha ha! My min pin is always trying to get into the dishwasher to "help" me. One of these days she's going to go through the rinse cycle!

I am going to put a post it note in my SMS book to add chocolate chips to the pound cake - it's a terrific idea.

Hanaâ said...

Oooooh yummy! What a great idea to add mini choc chips. Your citrus glaze for the second loaf sounds delicious too (I love citrus and choc together).

What a great find at the library. Now I'm curious about that pound cake recipe too. Please post your findings when you get a chance to try it.

Karin said...

I had to laugh when reading the comments... I agree- if only they could put the dishes away too! Your cakes look wonderful. I didn't get to try this recipe, but was thinking about making it sometime this week now. You have me curious about the Whole Foods pound cake now- my uncle's girlfriend works in the bakery there, so I'm wondering if she may be able to get the recipe for me.

Katiecakes said...

I was going to put chocolate chips in mine and looking at your pictures, I wish I had!!

Katie xox

The Whimsical Cupcake said...

yum-o!! now i wish i had added chocolate chips to my cake!!! next time.

your doggy is way too adorable!!!

Hanaâ said...

Forgot to mention that Shirley Corriher's pound cake recipe ("Bakewise") is also on my to-bake list. She uses a combination of butter, little bit of shortening and a little oil. And she beats the cream to stiff peaks prior to folding it into the batter. Sounds pretty yummy!

Flourchild said...

Cute doggie photo! Im glad your baseball buddies enjoyed the chocolate chip pound cake. It did smell so good while baking. I could scoop up that smell in a jar and sell it!

Jessica said...

Ooh, can't wait to see how the CI pound cake measures up to this "perfect" one! I love the chocolate chip version.

Jaime said...

haha - love the last pic! the chocolate chips sound good but limed glaze sounds even better :)

Fit Chick said...

Your mini loafs look great; and with the mini chips even better. Nice job with the lime glaze.

Michele said...

Your pound cake looks just amazing. Thank you SO very much for baking along with me.

Melissa said...

LOVE the dog. :) That cake looks GREAT - I love pound cake, and I'm forever on the lookout for the so-called perfect recipe. One I found was pretty great - once the cake was baked, you poked holes in it and poured a lemon sugar syrup over it. Mmmmmmm. My current favourite is Martha Stewart's Brown Sugar Pound cake - so flavourful!

Yours looks divine, though, and looks like it has a great texture. And seriously, is there ever a bad time to add chocolate? Good choice!

Jhonny walker said...

Hi,
Was looking through your blogs...you write well enough so that its super easy to follow. Thanks