Cultured Butter Pound Cake

I am still at it! This is Pound cake attempt number 3 AND 4! I got to thinking about the whole issue of shortening in my previous recipes and I just could not with good conscience proceed without trying a traditional pound cake. NO CHEATING! No leavening agents, no sour cream or cream cheese, and definitely no shortening. Just to see the difference. I poured over dozens of Pound Cake recipes each stating that they were the best or perfect or whatever. The ingredients are so simple.... Just butter, sugar, flour, eggs and some vanilla. I decided I had to make my own cultured butter if I was going to produce a blue ribbon traditional pound cake.

So Butter...

Luckily food bloggers are a zany bunch and we like to make the simplest recipes as complicated as possible... Hell if I had access to a milk cow!!! Fortunately I don't have a cow so I could skip that step and go purchase heavy cream from the store. Sure I could have purchased a really top notch cultured butter from that very same store but, where is the adventure in that???? The cake would have taken two hours instead of three days... how would that make any sense... how I ask you!

Ok deeeeep cleansing breath...

Cultured butter is neat! And so easy to do your self! Just get yourself a to the store and pick up some heavy cream (no stabilizers just cream!) and live active cultured plain yogurt (read the label to make sure those critters are in there!). Bring it home and pour the cream into your KA mixing bowl, add some yogurt and let it sit overnight. the next day whip it until the cream starts too curdle. Slow the mixer down at this point and magically the curds turn to butter. The liquid is cultured butter milk so save that too! For a really good and thorough step by step explanation go visit The Traveler's Lunchbox

Once you have made your cultured butter toast some bread and slather it all over. Relax. You are done for the day. Place your butter and butter milk in the fridge and enjoy your toast, tomorrow we make POUND CAKE. Remember?

Cook’s Illustrated Classic Pound Cake

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (8 ounces)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (9 ounces)
3 large eggs (5.25 ounces, without the shells)
3 large egg yolks (2 ounces)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons water
½ teaspoon table salt
1 ½ cups cake flour (6 ounces)

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3 1/2-inch loaf pan (7 1/2-inch capacity) with vegetable shortening or spray. Line the bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper or foil.

Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer set at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 15 seconds. With machine still on, take about 30 seconds to sprinkle in sugar. Beat mixture until light, fluffy and almost white, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping mixer once or twice to scrape down sides of bowl.

Mix eggs, yolks, vanilla and water in a 2 cup glass measure with a pour spout, set in a pan of tepid water until mixture is about 70 degrees. With mixer set at medium-high speed, take 3 to 5 minutes to add egg mixture to butter/sugar mixture in a very slow, thin stream. Finally, beat in salt.

Remove bowl from mixer stand. Turn 1/2 cup flour into sieve or shaker; sprinkle it over batter. Fold gently with rubber spatula, scraping up from bottom of the bowl, until flour is incorporated. Repeat twice more, adding flour in 1/2-cup increments.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula or wooden spoon. Bake until cake needle or tester inserted into crack running along top comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cake rest in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Place second wire rack on cake bottom, then turn cake top side up. Cool to room temperature, remove and discard parchment, wrap cake in plastic, then in foil. Store cake at room temperature.

Serves about 10.

Yep. I went to Cooks Country! This recipe came out great! A slight crunch to the crust. Very buttery flavor right up front with just a slight hint of vanilla for the finish. Moist, dense, and oh so photogenic!!! I did a variation on this recipe along with the original. The variation has malt added. I baked it in a 6inch cake pan. I really love the flavor the malt adds but, it does mute the cultured butter. I would use malt if I was using regular store bought butter. Another thing I noticed with this recipe was the difference in texture between the two cakes. The original was baked in a mini bundt pan and seemed a little lighter and rose higher than the cake baked in a cake pan. hmmm. I think the center tube really helps even baking. What do you think?

1 comment:

Mermaid Sews said...

Gorgeous cake, ahhh butter.