A pound cake is traditionally a cake with one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. The pound cakes baked now are not exactly with these proportions but nevertheless are rich, buttery and of course delicious! Different countries and different regions have their own variations of this cake. Difference in flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract, dry fruit and nuts, addition of milk or buttermilk or sour cream to make the cake more moist make for some variations. - Source Wikipedia.
Then again we have pound cakes with melted chocolate or cocoa added to them to make a chocolate pound cake. How about a vanilla-chocolate tango, a marbled pound cake? Or one with lemon and poppy seeds? Or orange zest? Chocolate chips? Hmmm... as if this delicious confusion is not enough to muddle my brain, I had to contend with all the various recipes and variations I could try! An indecisive person, I spend more time in deciding on a recipe than in actually baking one! Honestly speaking, I can't really do a comparison of family heirloom recipes or launch into nostalgic accounts of pound cakes I have grown up eating. My mother has never baked and she actually thinks I am really crazy to be spending so much time on baking. Mother-in- law used to bake ages ago and rarely, she is thankfully now coming to terms with my baking obsession. I have not eaten a great deal of cakes when I was a kid, none which left an impression on my foodie brain at least, except for a butter sponge which we would get from Bangalore sometimes. So the introduction of a pound cake has come quite late to me, very recently in fact and hence it follows that the quest for a perfect pound cake which suits my taste is still far away.
Dorie Greenspan's Perfection Pound Cake seemed a great one to start with... a simple cake with few ingredients, a simple enough procedure. If a very buttery, golden cake with a lovely crumb is your kind of cake, this is for you to try...
Without further ado, here is the recipe from Dorie Greenspan's 'Baking - From My Home To Yours'
Butter, soft at room temperature - 1 Cup - 225 grams
Sugar - 1 Cup - 200 grams
Eggs - 4, large
Vanilla - 1 teaspoon
Flour - 2 Cups / 240 grams
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon ( I omitted this)
Procedure: Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Grease, line and flour a 9''x 5'' loaf tin. Sift together the flour (salt if using) and the baking powder. Keep aside. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, cream on high speed for 5 minutes, till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating for 2 minutes on medium speed between each addition. Add the vanilla. Fold in the flour using a silicon spatula. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin. bake for 40-60 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted in the center come out clean. I baked for 65 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool the cake in the tin on a rack.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the sides of the cake and transfer it to the cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.