I made a pound cake yesterday. Not just any pound cake, but an Elvis Presley Pound Cake as found in the pages of an old Gourmet magazine. Seeing as how Elvis was a HUGE pound cake fan, and this is a recipe from his cook, I just had to try it, being a pound cake (and Elvis) fan myself.
Though I must admit, my favorite pound cake of all is a Sara Lee poundcake (yes, it is DAMN good, even though it is frozen and premade). I was curious to see how this pound cake stacked up against the legendary Sara Lee poundcake.
The cake was fairly simple to make, and in terms of technique, the recipe instructs the baker to spend a good amount of time mixing the batter. I’d recommend a mixer to make this recipe, or a very strong and resilient arm! In fact, I ended up mixing the batter a bit longer, because of my absent mindedness. I don’t think it was to any fault–because the cake ended up remarkably fluffy…so I think overmixing is a much forgiving error to make than undermixing this batter.
I halved the recipe and made only one loaf to good results. Actually, fantastic results–something very similar to a Sara Lee poundcake, buttery and dense and wonderful, but with great height. You’re supposed to let the poundcake cool before slicing it up–but guess what? I dug into a slice right away, watching the steam rise off of it, but not for too long, because soon enough the slice was in my mouth.
My new favorite pound cake. So what should the name of this pound cake be? Elvis Presley (and Christine)’s Favorite Pound Cake…?
The only thing I’d do different (even though I’m famous for adapting recipes, I think this one is perfect as is) is play some Elvis songs while eating this up.
Recipe follows after the jump…
ELVIS PRESLEY’S FAVORITE POUND CAKE
Makes 10 to 12 servings
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus
additional for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
Special equipment: a 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a
removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt
capacity)–I halved the recipe and used a loaf pan…and I assume you can make this in 2 loaf pans if you wish
Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting
into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric
mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a
stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a
handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition,
then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all
of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape
down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will
become creamier and satiny.
Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to
eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature
to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle
of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake
in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges
of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool
(if you are making this in 2 loaf pans, start checking the cake at around 45 minutes until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean)
Cake keeps, covered well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at
room temperature 5 days.