Pound Cake with Orange Essence

Published January 1, 2007.

Why this recipe works:

We retooled the classic pound cake recipe to make it ultra-plush every time. Our first big discovery was to start with chilly 60-degree butter, since room-temperature butter became too warm after all the creaming that was needed to combine the large quantities of butter and sugar in the cake.… read more

We retooled the classic pound cake recipe to make it ultra-plush every time. Our first big discovery was to start with chilly 60-degree butter, since room-temperature butter became too warm after all the creaming that was needed to combine the large quantities of butter and sugar in the cake. We found the eggs also needed to be at 60 degrees so they would not deflate the batter as they were added. Finally, we chose cake flour (all-purpose flour was too protein-rich and delivered dry, tough cakes), but the flour's softness required that we not overwork the batter when adding the flour. Sifting the flour over the batter and folding it in by hand was the method that worked best.

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Makes one 9 by 5-inch loaf

As directed in the recipe, the butter and eggs should be the first ingredients prepared so they have a chance to stand at room temperature and lose their chill while the oven heats, the loaf pan is greased and floured, and the other ingredients are measured. Leftover cake will keep reasonably well for up to 3 days if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.

Ingredients

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