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!