Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Pound cakes have been around for a long time and began with one pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs, hence the name. A cake made from the original recipe is going to be plain, dense and a little on the dry side.
I have never heard anyone request a plain, dense, dry cake.
Modern pound cake is lighter, but still very dense and quite moist. Its simplicity makes it a popular target for flavors like vanilla, almond and lemon, though some people will prefer the subtlety of the natual butter and egg. Any flavor will be featured beatifully in a cake like this. Sour cream is a particularly popular addition to pound cake because it adds a slightly tangy richness and a lot of moisture to the cake.Pound cake, because if its simplicity, is commonly used as a vehicle for fresh fruits and whipped cream. Instead of relegating it to a sideline dish, I like to make it the star.
In this recipe, I reduced the number of whole eggs and increased the number of whites, both for health and to whiten the color of the final cake. This particular cake is very moist and vanilla-y. It is wonderfully dense with a tight crumb, without being heavy at all. Covered, it keeps for several days. I topped it with a lemon glaze, but I really prefer it plain. This cake is outstanding on its own.

Sour Cream Pound Cake
3 cups ap flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
10 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs and egg whites together.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and smooth, 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in eggs until well mixed. Stir in 1/3 of flour mixture until blended, followed by 1/2 cup of sour cream. Repeat with another addition of flour, followed by remaining sour cream. Stir in the rest of the flour until batter is just smooth.
Don't worry if the batter looks curdled at any point, just keep going and it will smooth out.
Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and tap it on the counter to eliminate any bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Serves 12-16