What have I been up to? Well; about 0 degrees and plenty of heavy clothing!
Actually, I’ve been thinking about new recipes. Today I’ve been thinking about pound cakes. I’ll be sharing one of my standard recipes for these marvelous cakes. We’ll chat a bit about the origin and easy peezy these delicious cakes can be.
I must start with the fact that I never experienced pound cakes until I moved to Kansas City, MO around 1983. Raised in Northeast Missouri we never experienced these traditional cakes. What makes a cake a pound cake? Well, basically 4 of the ingredients are standard in every recipe. Flour, eggs, sugar and butter, In the early days many say pound cakes could weigh up to 4 pounds each. But the real name pound cake came from the fact there was a pound of each of the 4 main ingredients. Once you establish the main outline of the cake you can begin to create some very interesting flavors with the use of extracts, fruits and the like.
In every country we find versions specifically designed for the country or nation.
For example, in the Caribbean their pound cakes have mashed bananas and rum, with a thin glaze icing. Yum, I may have to try this one soon, and not wait til’ next Christmas!
Today most of our pound cakes contain a form of a leavening ingredient. In the beginning the cake relied on beaten egg whites to provide the lightness in the batter. For those who have not baked in this fashion I’ll give a quick comparison. Pancakes were the same way baking powder and baking soda were not used instead the yolks went into the batter and the egg whites were beaten and folded into the mix. Many recipes today will also contain a form of dairy to keep the cake body light and moist.
The fat ingredient has also gone through many changes through the ages. Oh boy, that one rhymed! There was a time period where cooks took out the butter and used oils instead. They liked the moistness of the cakes made with oil.
I think one of the reasons I like pound cakes is because they travel like a dream. They can be simple or exotic with fruits, flavors, coconut and so much more. I’m
still trying to settle into the outcome of my new pound cake recipe. I do know the 4 main ingredients will remain intact, at least at this moment they are!
In just a few weeks it will be time for another Super Bowl party. Pound cakes can be made for this big event and placed in the freezer. Save the glaze or toppings until the big day, just think how far ahead of the game you will be.
A good idea might be to make a plain cake and then serve different toppings at your party. If there’s just one of you, bake the cake, cut it into quarters to share with others or for a later time. Warm the kitchen, create joy and love for yourself and those who enter. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
Blueberry Pound Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sale
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries,
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 lemon, zested
Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 glass loaf pans and dust with flour. Using a hand mixer or stationery mixer, blend the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs 1-2 at a time finishing into a smooth batter, lastly; add the extract.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients. With a whisk or spoon blend all ingredients together. After washing and drying the blueberries stir them gently into the flour mixture by hand. Carefully pour some of the wet ingredients into the flour, including the 1 cup of buttermilk. Add remaining wet and stir gently until combined. Pour into the 2 loaf pans OR 1 large bundt pan. Bake for
approximately 65 minutes. Remember; this recipe was written using glass baking pans. Different ovens and different bakeware will change the baking times slightly. When I used a metal bundt pan the cake took 75 minutes. If you don’t want a glaze on the cake, use some sanding sugar in the bottom of the cake pan, make sure to shake out any excess.
As you can see not every pound cake is exactly 1 pound on each ingredient! Some bakers also put the cake in the oven and do not preheat it. When they use this method, the temperature is usually lower too.