Wednesday, September 8, 2010

[Perhaps] My Favourite cake



My parents came home on Sunday to find my hands in a rather unusual place- in the sink. My mother rolled her eyes- "What have you been up to this time??" I thought it would have been obvious from the warm scent of butter and sugar wafting in the air. Or maybe it was supposed to be a rhetorical question. "Washing the dishes of course!" I answered cheekily.

When my parents leave me at home, it can almost be expected that I will bake something. When else would I find the time to do whatever I want in the kitchen, without being told to move stuff out of the way, or to neaten things up and to remind me to put things back?? But this Sunday, I was supposedly supposed to study for my english exam on Monday which is why my parents were somewhat surprised that I was baking rather than studying.

They shouldn't have been- I always bake when I have exams. You would've have thought they'd have figured out by now!



Ever since I started baking, every event has turned into an excuse to bake, and so my reason for baking this time, was father's day. Baking for my father isn't too difficult- he never has too much to say about anything I bake other than the usual few one 'Why didn't you put raisins in??'

Natuarally, anything studded with raisins, whether it be a cake or bread would please him fine- but of course, I didn't want anything as straight forward and simple as that. I wanted something with a little more of a 'wow' factor, not necessarily something difficult or decorative, but something which tasted extra good- which brought my mind back to this sour cream pound cake recipe I hadn't made for at least two years.



If you say pound cake, I immediately think of the Sara Lee frozen pound cakes. My parents would occasionally take us to the Sara Lee factory outlet when I was young, to buy a couple of pound cakes. Although we'd occasionaly spy these cakes at the supermarkets, they were never in the range of flavours they had here- chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, coffee and even honeydew melon!! It's been ages since I last had one, but I can still remember quite clearly, the soft texture of the cake and the taste of each of the flavours. I ate them at any time of the day, even for breakfast, and particularly loved eating them straight out of the freezer, when they were hard and freezing cold.

It was these memories that had first inspired me to try making pound cake, a couple of years ago, but my internet searched resulted in recipes with an awfully high amount of butter which I just couldn't bring myself to using. I settled for a simple sour cream pound cake in a cookbook on my shelf, knowing that it wasn't anything like it.

Not surprisingly it didn't actually turn out like the Sara Lee pound cakes either. But we were absolutely astounded at the cake- it was deliciously smooth, soft and had a rich buttery taste! We easily gulped it down within a day and it was one of the few recipes I'd actually made more than once! Back then, I didn't have a loaf tin, and used an old foil tin which my mother had washed out, before upgrading to a new foil tin (from the supermarket) for my second cake and eventually ended up buying a loaf tin- just for this cake.



I don't know how this recipe got forgotten over the last years, but when I got it out again to try on Sunday, it was recieved with an even better response from my family. From the first bite, we could tell the recipe was a keeper (my family had completely forgotten that I'd ever made this cake before)and I immediately got requests to make it again. I think it goes without saying that the cake was gone within minutes, despite only just having finished dinner. And so I made it again, infact, I doubled the recipe to make two cakes yesterday when I came home after school. And because we loved this cake so much, when I realised we were out of sugar yesterday, we didn't mind walking out to the supermarket just to buy sugar for it.

The texture of this cake is incredible. It's so amazingly light and soft that it's comparable to sponge cake only not as fluffy and still retains its slightly firm texture. It isn't dry, but a little moist from the yoghurt, but not too moist that it doesn't seem like pound cake- it sits perfectly in the middle of dry and moist. Just the way I like it.

And the taste is just as good- it's rich and buttery, but not overwhelmingly so. The taste isn't anything special, but rather accentuates the delicious simple flavours of butter and vanilla. You could always change the flavours, but I think the simple vanilla flavour works well, putting a little more emphasis on the texture of the cake, whilst tasting delicious at the same time. I used yoghurt this time because that was what we had in the fridge but they both work the same. The sourness does not come through unless you concentrate really hard on tasting it- no one in my family noticed I used yoghurt! But the slight sour taste does give the taste that little something, making the flavour taste just that little bit better!

This is the type of cake which is so addictive, you just know you could eat the whole thing, by yourself, all in one go. They type which you'd almost do anything just to have another slice. I don't know why the cake turned out to be a little different to my previous tries, especially in terms of texture, but I have a feeling that if I froze this one, it would be very similar to the vanilla Sara Lee pound cake- but the cake doesn't last long enough for me to even try freezing it!

Now, back to Father's Day- my parents had came home early on Sunday, which was why I was still washing up, rather than innocently slaving my way through my english book. My dad wanted to mow the lawn before it got dark, leaving plenty of time for the cake to cool, but left me with the job of fending off hungry sisters and mothers from the cake =) By the time we got around to eating the cake, it was past dinner. And my dad's first reaction??

"Why didn't you put raisins into the cake??"



Sour Cream/ Yoghurt Pound Cake

from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

½ cup (113g) butter (I reduced it to 90g)
1 cup sugar (I decreased it by a bit)
3 eggs
½ cup sour
cream/yoghurt
1 ½ cups plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8
teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Allow butter, eggs and sour cream (or yoghurt) to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 8x4x2 inch or 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric miser on medium to high speed for 30 secs. Gradually add sugar, beating about 10 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition and scraping bowl frequently. (EDIT: beat eggs only until just incorporated- if you overbeat, the cake will not turn out light). Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream (or yoghurt) to butter mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition until well combined (EDIT you want to beat as little as you can to keep the batter light, so beat only until just combined and don't add the cream/flour in too many additions). Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 325oF (160oC) oven for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool in a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.



Also note that the cake tastes better when cooled =)

38 comments:

Anncoo said...

I think I'm going bake pound cake with your recipe. Looks so good with sour cream.

grub said...

AHAHAHAHHAHA my dad is the same! "why didn't you put raisins in it?" sounds like your pound cake is a keeper :D MUST TRY! i'm bookmarking it for later ;)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

Sometimes a simple pound cake can be a real treat.
I can really sense the joy you found in this cake by the way you described it.

I'll definately try this out, the next time I'm craving for a good pound cake.

Kristy Sayer said...

My sister is the difficult one when it comes to me baking. She will ALWAYS find something wrong with what I make. and she absolutely DESPISES when my recipes are "healthy" :P hehe
Your cake looks a. maze. ing.

Juliana said...

Yummie, I think your favorite cake can be easily one of my favorites as well...love the idea of sour cream and yogurt...looks very tasty and rich in flavor :-)

Esther said...

Great job! The cake looks very, very yummy! I love your pictures. The cake looks so soft but dense enough at the same time. :) Can't wait to try it out one day when I have the time and the yogurt/sour cream. You made it sound so good.

Anh said...

Haha! Your dad is so funny! :D And the cake looks so lovely, moist and soft!

SteelCityFlan said...

I love Sara Lee pound cake frozen!!! I thought that was just me being weird...but it's so so so so so good. I can't believe I just admitted to that. Hah. Anyways this looks fantastic, I'll definitely try it next time I want to make a pound cake. My friend wants a sculpted birthday cake for October and I know pound cake is usually good for stacking...do you think this one is firm enough for that?

Faith said...

That cake is a piece of art! I always crave a good pound cake this time of year and yours sounds delicious! Love your dad's reaction, that's too funny!

Ladybird said...

Hi Von, this looks simple and delicious (even without the raisins) haha!

By the way, you are a winner in one of my giveaways.. Swing by my blog to check it out!
http://diaryofaladybird.blogspot.com/2010/09/naan-butter-pudding-with-rhubarb-ginger.html

Anna x

laurie said...

The pictures look awesome and the way you describe it really makes me want to give it a try!

ching said...

by the looks of it, what a delish cake!

Adriana said...

Your pound cake looks so, so good! My dad is usually like that about things to! Not that he doesn't enjoy eating what I bake. . . I'm going to try out your recipe soon, because my mom was interested in the sour cream in it.

MaryMoh said...

Your cake looks very moist and fine in texture. I'm sure the sour cream or yoghurt helps. I would love to try. I'm sure baking helps you to do your exams better :D

Poggy said...

Woaah how do you find time to bake after school and still get super good marks D=!

I really want to try this recipe now, I dont like cakes with too much butter either.

It looks delicious!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

havent tried baking a pound cake before...i must soon, yours look absolutely gorgeous :D

Kathryn said...

I am definitely impressed- that looks amazing! If you're interested in entering a Halloween recipe contest, I'd love to see what you come up with! You can go here to learn more about it.

sensiblecooking said...

Your cakes looks so good I am jealous. TO get that result i have to use cake mix. And BTW my mom was scared of me even boiling water in the kitchen. I couldn't even do that without messing the whole kitchen.

Maria @ ScandiFoodie said...

This looks so lovely, I absolutely adore cakes that have sour cream, buttermilk or yoghurt in them! They give the cake such a nice texture and additional flavour!

Jessica said...

Your praises have me convinced...I will try this cake. (anyone ever tell you to go into sales?)

Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

jessyburke88@gmail.com

Eva said...

I have been looking for a good (less butter) pound cake recipe and I think I have FOUND IT! Thanks! My dad loves everything with raisins too.. haha

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Sounds delish! I find it much more enjoyable baking/cooking when there's no one in the kitchen to get in my way, it's much more relaxing. Parents are funny sometimes... mum generally ALWAYS complains my goodies are 'too sweet', but she'll happily eat them!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

Gorgeous pics, Von! aww that's my kinda cake!! yum. I love using sour cream in cakes. they really bring luscious flavour and moist denseness to baked goods. just lovely :)

ps. I like to cook when my parents aren't around too. I get so nervous. eeeks

grace said...

ah, memories. :)
your cake is absolutely gorgeous--nothing beats the dense crumb of a pound cake. raisins would absolutely ruin it. :)

Vivienne said...

wow this looks like a perfect loaf...!! ive never made a pound cake before coz too much butter so i cant wait to give this 'lighter' version a go ;)

panda said...

my mum is exactly the same as yours! pretty much all baking that happens at home will always be noticed :) anyway, i think if you soak the raisins and add them to the loaf, they should taste pretty good!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I have to bookmark this! A good basic cake like this will never get dated!

girlichef said...

Oh my gawsh, MEN!! LOL! I'd be completely content with the pound cake just as it is...a seemingly simple pound cake has ALWAYS been one of my favorites since I was a kid. Yup, we ate those Sara Lee's, too...but the real deal blows those outta the water. Gorgeous =)

Moogie said...

I'm in the mood for pound cake. Thanks for this post.

Emma @CakeMistress said...

Wow, that is easily the best looking pound cake I've seen. The crumb looks amazing! No wonder it's a family favourite :)

TasteHongKong said...

I bet you are confident in the exam. Or/and is making this cake too easy for you?
The cake looks delicate and soft.

OohLookBel said...

I adore pound cake, and your version looks delicious. And yes, where are the sultanas?

sweetlife said...

great pound cake, i love using sour cream in cakes..makes it even better with the tang...oh goodness when i lived at home my mom was always following me when I was in her kitchen, thanks goodness I have my own now, lol
sweetlife

Reeni said...

What a gorgeous cake! The texture does look excellent! I haven't made a pound cake for much the same reasons - tons of butter. But I love baking with sour cream.

Trissa said...

My Dad loves pound cake - am bookmarking this recipe. In the meantime - just one question "why didn't you put raisins in this?" haha! :)

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks so soft and smooth.

Esther said...

Yay! I finally made your pound cake! It was awesome, I must make it again. I brought it to school and everyone who ate it enjoyed it. Here's the direct link to it. http://x3baking.blogspot.com/2010/11/sour-cream-pound-cake.html Thank you for this great recipe. I can't wait to try out more of your other ones.

Leslie said...

Can anyone tell me if they've adapted this recipe to make it in a bundt pan? And, if so, can you please share it with me.....thanks!

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