Vanilla Pound Cake
Note: A Bundt pan is best, but a tube pan (angel-food cake pan) works fine, too. If you have vanilla sugar on hand, substitute it for some or all of the sugar here for an extra boost of flavor and an amazing aroma. To make vanilla sugar, simply bury a pod or two in a 2-cup container of sugar and use as you would plain sugar. From Kim Ode.
•1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp. softened butter for pan
• 2 1/2 c. flour, plus 1 tbsp. for pan
• 2 c. sugar, or vanilla sugar (see Note)
• 5 eggs, room temperature
• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 c. heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center position.
Using the 1 tablespoon softened butter, thoroughly coat Bundt pan. Add 1 tablespoon flour, tilting and shaking the pan until all surfaces are dusted with flour. Shake out any excess. Set aside.
Cut the 2 sticks butter into 16 pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl for use with a hand mixer. Beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes, scraping often. Add sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and almost white in color, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping the bowl several times.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla until just combined.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually dribble in the beaten eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, blending each addition before adding more. When all the eggs are added, beat at medium speed for about 30 seconds.
In another medium bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt, whisking well to blend.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and whipping cream to the butter-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined, scraping to make sure there are no pockets of flour.
Scrape batter into the prepared pan. With a knife, cut through the batter to eliminate any bubbles and even out the top surface.
Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes; remove cake from pan to wire rack and cool completely.
Nutrition information per serving (without sauce):
Calories 350 Fat 19 g Sodium 80 mg
Carbohydrates 41 g Saturated fat 11 g Total sugars 26 mg
Protein 5 g Cholesterol 110 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 2 carb, 4 fat.
Cream Cheese Sauce
Makes 2 1/2 cups.
Note: This luscious sauce, with the creamy, tangy flavor of unbaked cheesecake, is wonderful drizzled atop a slice of pound cake, further heightening the glory of vanilla. From Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean.
• 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 c. sour cream
• About 1/2 c. half-and-half, cream or milk, to desired consistency
In an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add vanilla, sour cream and enough half-and-half to make the sauce the consistency you want.
Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon:
Calories 45 Fat 3 g Sodium 20 mg
Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 3 mg
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Exchanges per serving: ½ fat.