Tuesday, January 18, 2011

vanilla pound cake

pound cake

Two years ago I bought 2 dozen vanilla beans for a great price. They were my precious babies so I used them oh so sparingly. The vanilla beans won't be a problem to move and I intend on bringing them with me but I am less stingy about using them now.

I used a Tahitian bean for its floral notes in homemade marshmallows over the Christmas holiday.

This week, I used the creamy Bourbon bean for a simple vanilla pound cake.

Pound cake is one of those things that almost requires no recipe. Like the name suggests, one pound of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, or in my case 8 ounces, and a splash of vanilla, pinch of salt, dash of baking powder.

pound cake

The crunchy corners on the end pieces are my favorite, just like corner brownie pieces.

simple vanilla pound cake
8 ounces all purpose flour (approximately 1 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces granulated sugar (approximately 1 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or one vanilla bean split lengthwise and scraped
8 ounces or 4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter and flour or line with parchment a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together until no lumps remain. Set aside.

Beat butter until smooth and creamy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add the eggs and beat briefly until eggs are scrambled. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the beaten eggs into the butter mixture and continue beating the butter until the eggs are completely incorporated. Scrape the bottom of the bowl. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of egg and continue until all the eggs have been beaten into the butter, scraping the bowl between each addition.

Sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix on the lowest setting until almost no streaks or clumps of flour remain.

Finish the batter by folding with a rubber spatula to get rid of any last streaks or lumps.

Scrape the batter into a prepared pan.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 70 to 80 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

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