February 5, 2013 § 9 Comments
There’s something so comforting about poundcake don’t you think? A big, thick slice, eaten plain or spread with sweet preserves, it’s perfect with your afternoon tea. I think it’s the butter, you can’t make a really good one without it, and the better the butter, the better the cake. Everything’s better with butter, it’s true.
Pound Cake is a actually a British creation that dates back to the early 1700s, though I’m sure similar cakes were made in other countries as well. It’s name comes from the fact that the original pound cakes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Pretty simple.
It’s an easy cake to whip up whenever your sweet tooth acts up, and you can vary it in so many ways. I grew up eating marble poundcake, made by taking some of the batter and mixing in some good melted chocolate before you bake it. You could also add dried fruit, or orange or lemon zest. Substitute almond extract for the vanilla, or add dried coconut, crystalized ginger and of course nuts like walnuts or pecans are delicious also.
In this recipe, I sautéed an apple in a little butter and folded it in at the end. You could try pears, blueberries, pretty much anything. If you want to skip the sugar, use maple syrup (1/2 the amount of sugar) and skip the vanilla.
If you can, get some really good butter for this, it makes a difference.
For the apples:
Melt about 1 1/2 TBL of butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add 1 peeled, cored apple , cut into slices. I like Empire. Cook until almost soft, 5 or 6 minutes. Set aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter and dust with flour.
For the batter:
6 TBL good quality butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour, I use spelt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 1/2 cup milk
Mix the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute or two.
Now add the flour alternately with the milk and beat well after each addition.
Continue beating another minute or so until smooth.
Add the apples and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula.
Transfer to the loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes. Test until toothpick comes out clean. Cake should be a nice golden color.
Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely before cutting. It will crumble if you don’t wait!
This recipe was featured in the Huffington Post Taste section!
Here’s the link.