From the first time I tried this recipe, I knew it was a keeper. It has got to be the most delicious, moist and rich tasting pound cake I’ve ever had and believe me, I’ve got a ton of pound cake recipes on file. Over the next two months I will bring them to you (perhaps with some variations) via this blog.
Pound Cake is one of those desserts that is so versatile. If it’s rich and moist, just slice it and serve it with a good cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. If you think it needs a little something, top it with a scoop of delicious homemade ice cream, or make a simple, yet tasty sauce to go over it and maybe some fresh fruit.
The origins of the pound cake date back to the 18th century with its birth in the Northern European countryside. The name pound cake came about because of it’s composition of ingredients. 1 pound of flour – 1 pound of butter – 1 pound of sugar – 1 pound of eggs! Can you imagine making something like this today? No leavening was used. It was whipped until sufficient air was incorporated into the batter to make it rise. There is a truly fascinating timeline description of the history of Pound Cake at the Food Timeline site.
This site excited me. I love studying the history of foods and the Food Timeline delves into many foods that we eat today. They state that food was not invented, but rather has evolved and they give you a wonderful history lesson on just about any vegetable, fruit, dessert, beverage, etc., that you can think of.
So, if you’ve ever wondered where a certain food had its beginnings, check out their site. You’ll stay on it for quite a while, I did.
For now, enjoy this delicious Black and White Pound Cake. I took that delicious recipe I found in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, divided the dough, added some cocoa to half of it and layered it. Left over chocolate dough was spooned over the top in dollops and a toothpick run through it to give it some design.
This design looks like the Zodiac Taurus, doesn't it? Have a magnificent weekend everybody.
Classic Pound Cake
(BHG Magazine, May 2009)
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) package cold cream cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 ¾ cups sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours. Generously butter and flour 2 loaf pans or 1 10-inch tube pan. Set aside. Using large bowl of stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat cold butter for 2 minutes on low speed. Dislodge butter from paddle periodically.
Add cream cheese and beat on low speed for 3 minutes again dislodging from paddle a few times. Still mixing on low, add sugar in a slow continuous stream. This should take about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Add salt. Continue creaming for 5 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl halfway through. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing 2 minutes more, scraping once.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating 20 to 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl after first 3 eggs. Beat in vanilla with last egg.
Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of the sifted cake flour on low speed, mixing until just blended. Turn off mixer and fold in remaining flour by hand with a rubber spatula, just until combined.
Turn batter into prepared pans and shake gently to distribute batter. Drop pans onto counter to dislodge large air pockets.
Place on center rack of cold oven. Turn oven setting to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes without opening door. Test for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick.
Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before serving.
* In retrospect, I think that instead of using 1/2-cup cocoa powder to flavor the “black” side of this pound cake, I will use melted chocolate next time. The pound cake was delicious, but the dark half was a smidgen less moist than the lighter half. Experiment for yourself and see which you think is better.