Our friend Michael of The Bridgehampton Florist, comes from a family of home bakers whose cakes are consistently the best things we’ve ever tasted. We’ve featured the most famous, “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake” http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/beattys-chocolate-cake.html which made its print debut in Ina Garten’s “Back to Basics” a couple of years ago. Andrew had baked any number of recipes and they’ve all been good. But at an Event last summer, Andrew tasted Michael’s Mother Lorraine's version for the first time and he had to have the recipe for what is The Perfect Pound Cake. And let’s face it, a great pound cake is the starting point for all kinds of wonderful desserts. Topped with fruit, it’s the sweet contrast underneath. Add a little ice cream and you have the warmth of the cake, the cool creamy richness of the ice cream and the tart tang of the fruit all together in a spoonful of heaven. You can do so many things with pound cakes, that I counted 50 variations on epicurious.com alone! So it stands to reason, that once you’ve learned the secrets to the perfect pound cake, you open up a whole dessert repertoire.
|The Real Sara Lee|
|I'm not quite sure how|
we got the mint on the plate
in 15 seconds but we did!
Traditionally, pound cake was made with one pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs and sugar. Of course this would make an enormous pound cake. So Michael’s Mother’s recipe is scaled down, uses both butter and butter flavor vegetable shortening; The last item is absolutely key to this cake. Do not even attempt to make it without it. There’s also one major ingredient that the original ‘pound’ cake recipe omits. There’s a cup of whole milk that’s added to the batter. Then the cake is put into a Bundt cake pan and baked. The Bundt pan makes a very pretty cake but if you don’t have one, you can use 2 loaf pans and you’ll have two cakes: one to serve immediately and one to freeze because this cake freezes exceptionally well. Now you can either stop here or you can continue and make the lemon pound cake as pictured. Either way, once you’ve mastered the pound cake, you’ve really got dessert mastered too. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Perfect Pound Cake courtesy of Michael and his Mother:
1/2 lb. unsalted butter
½ cup Butter-flavored Crisco (accept no substitutes!)
3 cups Sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup Milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
Add the sugar and continue creaming.
Add one egg at a time.
Add 1/3 cup of milk then 1 cup of flour, another 1/3 cup of milk, the vanilla, another 1 cup of flour, the last 1/3 cup of milk and the final cup of flour, the salt and the baking powder.
Put the batter into a Bundt pan or two loaf pans which have been sprayed with Baker’s Joy.
Bake at 350 degrees for 80 minutes. Test for doneness by
inserting toothpick or cake tester until it comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins. Remove from Bundt pan or loaf pans and cool on
To make the lemon glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel