Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ye Olde Pound Cake History, and Recipe

Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.
Pound cake is usually baked in a loaf pan or a Bundt mold, and served either dusted with powdered sugar, lightly glazed, or sometimes with a coat of icing. It is believed that the pound cake is a Northern European dish, that dates back to the early 1700s. Over time the ingredients for pound cake changed. Eliza Leslie, who wrote the 1851 edition of Direction for Cookery, used 10 eggs, beat them as light as possible, mixed them with a pound of flour, and added the juice of two lemons or three large oranges. Certain countries and regions having distinctive styles. These can include the addition of flavouring agents (such as vanilla extract or almond extract) or dried fruit (such as currants or dried cranberries), as well as alterations to the original recipe to change the characteristics of the resulting pound cake. Pound cake is more commonly known in Britain as sponge cake, usually made from butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour and eggs in equal parts. Vanilla extract can be added to give a richer taste.
The following is one of those variations, this one uses less of all ingredients, but taste just as good as the traditional Pound Cake.
1 Cup (2 sticks) of Butter
3 Cups of Flour
1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
3 Cups of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Vegetable Shortening
1 Cup of Milk
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
5 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Almond Extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

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