Poundcakes are delicious, but they are oh, so fattening with all that butter, sugar and flour, and this poundcake has heavy cream to boot. But once you taste this light, airy, buttery cake you won't care. I found the recipe on epicurious.com, but it's originally from Gourmet Magazine, September 2005. I felt it needed more flavoring, though, so I added lemon and orange zests and lemon and orange extracts in addition to the vanilla the recipe called for. IMHO, the flavor is perfect with those additions.
Instead of making the full recipe, I made a half recipe and used a 4" x 8" loaf pan and 6 standard muffin cups. My hubby opted for thick slices of the loaf cake, and I chose the smaller cupcakes. Split in half, the cupcakes toasted beautifully and were the perfect vehicle for some seasonal macerated fruit and gently whipped honeyed cream. This was a dessert made in heaven.
There are several reasons why this poundcake is so special. First off, it uses cake flour that's been sifted 3 times. Secondly, the heavy cream. And thirdly, after everything is mixed, you beat the cake for an additional 5 minutes, which will visibly expand and lighten the batter as you watch. And you can taste it in the finished product which is smooth, creamy, light and delicious. The cake is started in a cold oven, which feels a little weird, but it works. This is a top-notch recipe, but one that demands your total attention and strict adherence to directions. Good luck if you try it, and do let me know how it turns out.
Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake
Adapted Half Recipe from epicurious.com and Gourmet Magazine
Rating: 10 out of 10
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cup cake flour, sifted before measuring (I used White Lily all-purpose which is a low-protein flour similar to cake flour)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven. Grease and flour 4" x 8" loaf pan and 6 standard muffin wells. Sift together the already sifted flour and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or 6-8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in flavorings. Reduce speed to low and add half flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each additiion. Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.
Spoon batter into pans; rap against hard surface to remove air bubbles.
Place pans in cold oven; close door; heat to 350F. Bake till golden -- test with toothpick -- when it returns clean, remove from oven to cool in pan 15 minutes, then run a knife around edges and turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling. Cupcakes will take 20-25 minutes (mine took 22 minutes); loaf pan will take 30-35 minutes (mine took 32 minutes). These freeze well. Delicious toasted. Top with fresh macerated fruit and honey whipped cream or ice cream, chocolate syrup, toasted walnuts and whipped cream.