I had neither seen nor tasted pound cake prior to that morning. Based on the light texture and flavor of this novel confection, I couldn’t understand why it was called “pound” cake. At the time I chalked it up to being something British and named after their currency.
Years later when I started baking and tried to duplicate the airy texture and delicate flavor that I remembered, I discovered why it was called “pound” cake. Every recipe that I tried produced a dense, heavy cake that tasted mainly of vanilla.
A few weeks ago, while browsing through my Silver Palate cookbook, I came across this recipe. I’m not sure why they call it “Bishop’s Cake”. It’s nothing like a traditional Bishop’s Cake. The note that goes with this recipe refers to it as pound cake. What caught my eye were the 5 eggs and the lemon juice.
Five eggs means five egg whites which when whipped enough should provide a lighter texture and the lemon juice in addition to vanilla might recreate the flavor that I associate with pound cake.
I beat this batter longer than called for in the recipe. And I struggled with the aluminum foil. I struggled even more getting the cake out of the bundt pan. But in the end, it was all worth it. While not exactly what I was hoping for, this is the closest I’ve ever come to recreating the pound cake of my youth.
Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!!
½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
Cream butter and sugar gradually; beat until fluffy.
Sift flour and add to butter mixture. Stir just enough to blend.
Add lemon juice and vanilla; stir well. Add eggs, one at a time, missing well after each addition.
Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (after 30 minutes, cover cake closely with aluminum foil.)
When cake is done, cool in its pan on a cake rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
8 to 10 portions.
Recycle: vanilla bottle
Compost: egg shells