Well if Miss Edna could win a blue ribbon with this pound cake I bet I can too! This is my second pound cake from the book "Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations" by Nancy McDermott.
This is one fabulous pound cake! It came out tall and proud from my tube pan. the crust was golden with a delicate crunch. The interior had a dense crumb, moist but not soggy interior, and really lovely crunch from the vanilla bean I (Miss Katie- I know it does not sound as cool as Miss Edna!) decided to add. Flavor wise it has a really delicate vanilla flavor and is a bit sweet. The upfront butter flavor present in a pound cake made with a whole pound of butter is a missing.
You know, my favorite part of my job are the neat ingredients I get to take home cause nobody else wants them... hello vanilla beans! Any whooo. So I added a vanilla bean to the milk part of the recipe and let it simmer. Oh it is sooo neat! I have never used a real vanilla bean! I tell you I think Miss Edna would approve!
This cake passed the ultimate taste test. I took it to work and by 1pm a mere sliver had survived. I of course took it home to see how well it "ages"... for my research.. er um...umhuh... yep- er- reee. To many of you having a cake or baked good disappear at work may not seem like much but I work with people who work with food for a living... food scientists! So I'm pretty sure Miss Edna's recipe does indeed make a Blue Ribbon Pound Cake - with room for tweaks! or as we say in the biz reformulation...
here is the base recipe go forth and reformulate!
Miss Edna Faust's Blue Ribbon Pound Cake by Nancy McDermott
4 cups sifted AP flour- I used cake flour 1cup plus one tablespoon per cup AP flour, sifted first then measured... I REALLY need a scale!
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk - ok so I added a whole madagascar vanilla bean to this and scalded it on the stove. I let it cool to room temp before adding it to the cake mix.
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter softened
1 cup shortening - is this stuff necessary someone help!!!
3 cups sugar- I used super fine bakers sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
Your oven should be set to 300 fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan or whatever suites your fancy!
Sift your dry ingredients and whisk them a bit until they are mixed well.
Ok get the Mixer ready! Cream your butter and shortening until light and creamy 3-5 minutes you wont over mix at this point so don't worry. Add the sugar gradually and mix mix mix at least 5 minutes on high. you want a light color and fluffy texture. keep mixing.... lower the speed to medium. now add one egg and mix for 2 minutes scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and mix some more. repeat with all your eggs. take a sip of your mint julep... oops wrong recipe.
Now remember that milk? put the vanilla extract in it. Don't forget to pull out that bean and scrape the pod for those tasty vanilla seeds! Get your flour mixture its time to add it in... GENTLY! At this point I usually mix by hand with a wooden spoon or a spatula to avoid over mixing and exciting the gluten in the four. so add about 1/3 or your flour mixture and carefully fold it into the egg, sugar , butter, and other stuff until it just disappears. Add half of the milk vanilla mixture and GENTLY mix. okay more flour... careful... the rest of the milk and all of those little seeds... and finally the rest of the four mixture.
This is a lot of batter! pour it into your prepared baking pan and tap to remove large bubbles. place in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. This time was just about right for my cake but, you may want to check it sooner. If you notice the top is browning too quickly you can cover it with tin foil and continue baking.
Good luck and let me know if you make this Blue Ribbon Pound Cake. Thanks Miss Edna!