Thanks to Peabody's recommendations, I put Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours" on my Christmas wish list. So when I saw that Michelle of Sugar & Spice was teaming up with Laurie of Quirky Cupcake and April of Abby Sweets to make one recipe per week from the cookbook, I was a little jealous. I left a comment on Michelle's blog telling her how great the idea of "Tuesdays with Dorie" was, but that I would never be able to commit to that every week... she graciously emailed me, asking me to join, without any obligation to participate every week. I plan to participate as much as possible, but my schedule can get a bit hectic at times, so I appreciate the group allowing me join without that huge commitment.
So this week's recipe is Perfection Pound Cake. I decided to go with one of the adaptations included in the book, for a marbled chocolate and vanilla pound cake. The flavor in the cake was really good, but somehow my cake turned out too dry (despite wrapping it in saran wrap and letting it ripen overnight). I'm not sure if I overbaked the cake, or if my oven temperature is off (I need to get an oven thermometer!), but I was able to compensate for the lack of moisture in my cake by turning it into a strawberry shortcake type dessert. I simply sliced up some fresh strawberries, let them macerate in a few tablespoons of sugar, and then drizzled the strawberries and syrup over the pound cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream (or several in my case) and you have a great strawberry shortcake :)
Perfection Pound Cake
from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2-1/4 cups cake flour) (I used cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan or an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you're working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated - don't overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it's browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you're using a 9x5 pan, you'll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.
Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.
Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Marbled Pound Cake:
After the batter is fully mixed, transfer half of it to another bowl and gently blend in 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled. Alternate large spoonfuls of the light and dark batters in the pan, then run a kitchen knife in a zigzag pattern through the batters to marble them.