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Pound Cake Recipe

History and Fun Facts:

Pound cake, a classic dessert loved by many, has a rich history that dates back to Europe in the 18th century. The cake got its name from the traditional recipe which required a pound each of four main ingredients - flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The simplicity of the ingredients and the one-to-one-to-one-to-one ratio made it easy to remember and measure, thus making it a popular recipe for home bakers.

Over time, variations of the pound cake recipe emerged, incorporating different flavors and ingredients. Despite these changes, the main characteristics of the pound cake remained constant - a moist and dense texture, a buttery flavor, and a deliciously simple taste.

Nowadays, pound cake is enjoyed in many different forms and flavors. It can be served plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or enhanced with various toppings and glazes. It is also often used as a base for desserts like trifles and strawberry shortcakes.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
- Whites of 8 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon Dr. Price's Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the center. Typically, this means preheating to 350°F (175°C).

2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the whites of 8 eggs until they form a firm, stiff froth. This can be done using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium-high speed.

3. Once the egg whites are frothy, add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Cream of tartar helps stabilize the whipped egg whites and gives the pound cake its characteristic texture.

4. Lightly fold in 3/4 cup of granulated sugar into the whipped egg whites. It's important to fold gently to avoid deflating the egg whites. The sugar will add sweetness and help provide structure to the cake.

5. In a separate bowl, sift 3/4 cup of flour four times to ensure a fine texture. Sifting helps remove any lumps and aerates the flour, resulting in a lighter cake.

6. Add 1 teaspoon of Dr. Price's Baking Powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the sifted flour. This helps the cake rise and adds a touch of flavor.

7. Gradually fold the sifted flour mixture into the whipped egg white mixture. Again, be careful not to overmix or deflate the batter.

8. Finally, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter and gently fold it in. The vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the pound cake.

9. Pour the batter into an ungreased pan. Traditionally, a tube or Bundt pan is used for pound cakes as they allow for even baking and easy removal.

10. Bake the pound cake in the preheated oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The exact baking time may vary, so keep an eye on the cake and adjust as needed.

11. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Allowing the cake to cool upside down in the pan helps prevent it from collapsing.

12. Let the cake stand in the inverted pan until it is completely cold. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Cooling the cake thoroughly helps it maintain its structure and makes it easier to remove from the pan.

13. Once the cake is completely cool, carefully remove it from the pan. You can use a butter knife or offset spatula to gently loosen the edges before turning it out onto a serving plate.

14. At this point, you have a delicious plain pound cake that can be enjoyed as is. However, if desired, you can add your favorite icing or frosting. Chocolate or white icing would complement the flavors of the cake well.

Similar Recipes:

If you enjoyed making and eating pound cake, you might also be interested in exploring other cake recipes that share similar characteristics:

1. Angel Food Cake: This cake is made primarily from egg whites, creating a light and airy texture. It is typically baked in a tube pan like a pound cake and is often served with fruit or whipped cream.

2. Marble Cake: A visually stunning cake that combines both vanilla and chocolate batters, giving it a marble-like appearance. It shares the dense and moist texture of pound cake but with a delightful swirl of flavors.

3. Sponge Cake: Unlike pound cake, sponge cake uses equal amounts of flour, sugar, and eggs to create a light and delicate texture. It is often used as a base for layered cakes and is excellent when served with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Remember, baking is a delightful way to express your creativity and share delicious treats with your loved ones. Enjoy your homemade pound cake and indulge in the rich history of this classic recipe!

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