I’m trying to establish a tradition. I recently read Melissa Gray’s All Cakes Considered. In it she describes how she brings in a cake for her co-workers every Monday morning. I thought it was a nice and thoughtful thing to do, so I’ve been bringing cakes to church on Sunday. Last Sunday was a spice cake with walnuts. The recipe was taken from All Cakes Considered. The cookbook itself is worth reading, if not only for Ms. Gray’s witty charm and wise cracks. I enjoyed her humour. The recipes I cannot attest for because I haven’t made all that many from it. But this week’s cake is from her book. And it was good.
I love pound cakes. That being said, I’m not too terribly fond of cakes. I find most frostings tooth-achingly sweet and the combination of the frosting with the cake is almost too much. I guess when it comes to cakes, to me at least, simpleness prevails. I do like making cakes for others to enjoy. I like decorating the cakes and seeing other people eat my work.
But most of all, I love butter. I love the smell and taste of butter in cakes. I love the texture it gives. It’s irreplaceable.
So nothing beats a good pound cake. I remember this one restaurant I’d eaten at for my birthday earlier this year. Lovely, innovative place. They gave us a mini loaf of pound cake to enjoy at home. It was, simply put, amazing.
Pure, unadulterated butter.
Good butter too. The texture was slightly crumbly, incredibly moist, and melted in my mouth. This sour cream pound cake was not life changing. But it was good. Tight crumb, moist, a hint of lemon, a strong dose of butter. The sour cream lends tenderness. This recipe is easy, and the cake batter is very gorgeous. I think I would wear a dress that colour and possibly texture. Like the batter in dress form, if you can imagine. So by all means try this cake!
Sour Cream Pound Cake
adapted from All Cakes Considered
(makes one 10-inch tube cake)
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, unsalted and room temperature
2 cups sugar (I reduced it from the original 3 cups because I do not like extremely sweet cakes and I wanted the sour cream to show through some more)
4 eggs (reduced from 5, it was fine) room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a tube pan. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until very fluffy. Then beat in eggs one at a time. Make sure to beat well after each addition. Now add alternately the flour mixture and the sour cream. This means adding 1/3 of the flour, mix in, then 1/2 cup of sour cream, mix in, and repeat, ending with flour. Beat in extracts. Then beat for an additional 2 minutes until the batter is silky smooth and you want to wear it on your skin. Maybe not. Just kidding.
Pour into the prepared pan. Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 90 minutes. Check 10-15 minutes ahead of time though for the browning and done-ness. If a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the cake. It’s done. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then take a knife and run it around the sides of the cake, don’t forget the inner ring. Place a plate on top of the pan and invert to release cake from pan. Let cool completely and slice.
Enjoy with coffee.