Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Baking: Pound Cake

If there isn't a thin layer of flour covering everything in my kitchen, am I really baking? If a tree falls in the forest...

While the little one sleeps, I'm baking a pound cake. There are two to test: one with buttermilk (from an old "ladies Bible class" friend of my mother) and one with sour cream (from Granny Lula's collection). Today I need to get rid of the remainder of a quart of buttermilk I had in the fridge (who ever uses a whole container before it goes bad? Do people, other than my father, drink the stuff straight??) Granny's version will have to wait.

Why do they call it pound cake, you may ask? Well...back to my old frenemy, Wikipedia:

Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. However, the quantity is often changed to suit the size of the cake that is desired. As long as the ratio is preserved, the resulting cake will generally be very similar to that using the traditional quantities. Hence, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar is also called a pound cake, even if the quantity used is smaller or larger than a pound.

Well, not really sure if this recipe is a REAL pound cake because the ingredients do not follow this ratio precisely. Not surprising—as I've mentioned before, I'm sure my mother's recipes have all been tinkered with and manipulated to fit the tastes of the individual cook, or her family members. Plus, I think I've mentioned before, I don't do math. And that includes measurements and quantities. So for all I know, 5 eggs is a pound. I'm not going to sweat it and just assume that this is a traditional pound cake regardless. We'll see when it comes out of the oven...

Looks right to me!!

Buttermilk Pound Cake
from Carol Shelton, Ladies Bible Class, circa 1970s

3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1 stick butter
5 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter, sugar, and shortening. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Combine salt and flour; then add alternately to creamed mixture with the buttermilk and soda. Beat well and blend in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured 10" stem pan. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

And when you're finished, cut a slice, add some juicy delicious strawberries you just bought at the local farmer's market, and then drench it in chocolate sauce of some kind (Hershey's will do just fine). A pound of delish.

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