When I came across a recipe for the "perfect" pound cake, I couldn't resist trying it! The cardamom coffee cake was described as "one of the richest cakes in the world" - again, I was irresistibly drawn to try it!!
I made both of these for play dates, and although tasty, I did find them a little dry.
One tip I wanted to learn more about, recommended in the pound cake recipe, was to ensure the butter and eggs were at room temperature before using them. "Baking is a science" Cathy says on her Noble Pig blog, and when butter and eggs are at room temperature, they will produce a tender cake that will rise to its fullest potential, as opposed to making a cake similar in appearance to a pancake!
PERFECT POUND CAKE
1 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
Heat oven to 350F.
Lightly butter and flour a 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until very light and fluffy, 7 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beat 1 minute more. Add vanilla, then gradually add eggs, beating well and scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add salt, then gradually add flour, beating well to combine and scraping down bowl as needed.
Transfer batter to pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 1 hour (we couldn't wait that long, and removed it after 10 minutes, sliced it and ate it warm). Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food
CARDAMOM COFFEE CAKE
2 cups of butter, softened
2 cups of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups of sour cream
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of powdered cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350F.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat well. Add sour cream and flour mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in each addition just enough to blend. Don't beat or otherwise over mix.
Spoon one third of the batter into a (well buttered) bundt pan, then half of the nut mixture then one third of the batter, then remaining nuts, then remaining batter.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until brown on top and dry when you insert a prober all the way down.
Turno onto a plate after 10 minutes of cooling.
Recipe adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook