Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Buttermilk Pound Cake

This is my all-time favorite cake. My mom often made it when we were growing up, and I make it at least a couple of times a year. It is delicious with Darjeeling tea. I love the cake's rich buttery vanilla flavor. It's also very easy to make.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

1/2 c butter (no substitute)
1/2 c crisco
3 c sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour (all purpose)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp soda
1 Tbsp boiling water
Garnish: powdered sugar

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Dissolve soda in water and beat in. Pour into greased and floured tube pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1.5 hours, testing after 1.25 hours. Rest in pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool. Before serving, I sift a little powdered sugar over the top to make it look pretty.

Out West I have to make this a bit differently if I want to get that gooey, not-quite-done layer at the bottom (my favorite part of the cake). The dry air and elevation, and my overly hot oven, required a little tweaking: I added 1.5 Tbsp of hot water instead of just 1 Tbsp, and I only baked it for an hour and 5 minutes. I lowered the oven temp slightly for the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent excessive browning.

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