Saturday, March 5, 2005

My favorite cake for moehawk

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 sticks butter, softened 6 eggs
3 cups sugar 3 cups cake flour, sifted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Alternately add eggs and flour. Add vanilla extract. Pour batter into a prepared tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 3/4 hours.

That's the recipe, but here's some information that may be helpful.

Things I tend to forget to do before baking:

  • Remove eggs, butter, and cream cheese from refrigerator ahead of time (about an hour).
  • Gather all the ingredients and utensils to make the cake:
    • Tube pan (or bundt pan ONLY if you don't have a tube pan)
    • Mixer
    • Large mixing bowl
    • Spatula
    • Crisco (you need about a tablespoon of shortening to grease the pan)
    • You'll also need about a tablespoon of flour, so either put some aside or leave the box out when you're mixing the cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease tube pan with shortening, and dust lightly with flour.
  • Sift the 3 cups of cake flour.

After baking:

  • Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Invert a plate over the tube pan.
  • Flip to remove cake from pan, and then invert onto a cake plate so the crusty rounded side is up.
  • The cake is so large and heavy that this tends to be a two-people exercise if you aren't accustomed to doing it.
  • Eat warm! (with ice-cold milk)

Even more information:

Although I used to use name brand everything -- Land O' Lakes butter, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Dixie Crystals sugar (if you're in the South), McCormick flavoring -- I have found that many store brands are just fine. However, don't substitute margarine; use real butter. Use real vanilla extract, not some of that imitation stuff. You probably know which store brands are good quality and which are not. If you don't, stick with the name brands regardless of cost. Anytime you go cutting corners on the quality of ingredients, it simply won't be as good.

Also, for variations, you can change some of the flavoring you put in the cake. Me? I like lots of vanilla. Sometimes, I sprinkle some chopped toasted pecans in the bottom of the pan before I pour in the batter...yummm.

Mama's pound cake bakes in about 100 minutes, but mine take longer, probably due to differences in ovens. Start watching at 90 minutes, though, because a dry pound cake is awful. Sometimes, I bake it in two loaf pans...they are easier to handle, and you can give one away. Just don't forget to cut the baking time down...they take about an hour or so to bake. You can tell the cake is done when an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.

I don't make pound cakes much because from the time I set out the butter, etc., to actually eating cake, we're talking several hours, and the only "free time" is the hour and a half I don't watch the cake bake, so this is a timely investment for me. It's not for Mama, though, because she makes them so much, she can do it without thinking about it, and she can multi-task. I think she has more energy than me, too!

Wow! This was supposed to be a simple recipe. I'll hush now.

Recipies by others can be found at Carnival of the Recipes.

18 comments:

  1. thanks, big sister (who is 5'4")!
    the cake sounds wonderful. i am a chef, btw, and sometimes we forget about the beauty of simplicity when we are trying to wow the customer with the flashy presentation, the exotic sauces, etc. to me, the flavor is the most important thing. plus, this is a very "homey", comfortable kind of dessert, one that you're not afraid of just sticking a fork into and enjoying it, instead of looking at it and thinking " am i supposed to eat it or hang it on the wall?"
    i will definitely give this one a try!
    p.s. try chopping a vanilla bean into 1/2 inch pieces, soaking it in bourbon (being as y'all are from the South, bourbon is easy to find) for a week or two, and straining out the bean to make your own vanilla extract...way better than the commercial stuff that's about 35% alcohol anyway. might as well add some more flavor into it!

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  2. oh yeah...
    thanks for the baking info, not just for me, but for everyone else that reads this recipe. many, many times i have run across a recipe that i had to make that contained the bare minimum of information besides the ingredients and the oven temperature. i have learned over the years to check early and often ( because a dry pound cake really is bad!) but others that might try to bake a cake for the first time will really benefit from the detailed instructions!
    any other good Southern recipes that you have would be appreciated (y'all!)

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  3. The Big Sister (who's 5'4")March 6, 2005 at 2:02 AM

    Oh, I can't believe I wrote all that information down for a chef!! YIKES! How gracious of you to compliment me. A few months ago, I'd shared this recipe with my best friend, and she didn't know all that before and after stuff, so I thought it would be good to include.

    My original post was a mess, so I'd like to give a cyber hug and a really big THANK YOU to basil for formatting it.

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  4. please don't feel embarrassed, big sister(who's 5'4"),even us professionals like to know the details from someone that has made the recipe before. little things like favorite butter (water content in butter can vary between brands), different baking dishes (if you've ever made cornbread in an aluminum baking pan, and then in a cast-iron skillet, you know what i mean) and the all-important little tidbit of information that all ovens are different, so check early!!! is appreciated by anyone who likes to cook.
    so, i wasn't just being gracious when i complimented you, but grateful for the fact that not only are you giving away your favorite cake recipe, but also the tried and true method that makes it come out of the oven perfect every time.we chefs like to have as much info on a recipe as possible, just because in the restaurant industry, there is rarely enough spare time to make something again because it didn't come out right the first time.
    i'm looking forward to more Southern recipes from y'all!

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  5. The Mean Sister (who is 5'6")March 7, 2005 at 2:17 AM

    Trust me--this is an awesome recipe! Big sister (who is 5'4") is a wonderful cook. Mama likes to put almond flavoring in her cake (same recipe). That gives it another great taste. My favorite way to eat pound cake is with ice cream.

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  6. i never doubted her cooking ability, mean sister(who is 5'6"), but i admire her teaching ability. pound cake is very good, simple to make, and easily adaptable to any flavor theme that you want to use it in.
    i like it with ice cream too!
    also, with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar, or strong black coffee (for breakfast), etc,etc.
    any favorite recipes that you want to share?:)

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  7. You want to watch the Big Sister (who's 5'4") pout? Ask her for her recipe for peanut butter cookies.

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  8. i love peanut butter cookies!
    um...is this a set-up?

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  9. once upon a time (or a long, long time ago, in a restaurant far, far in my past) i tried a peanut butter cookie that was made by the little old lady that came with the restaurant when the current owners bought it. she's a prep cook, has to be at least 75 years old now, and it was a part of the transfer of ownership contract that she would still have a job at the restaurant, etc,
    but, i digress.
    anyway, she's from Germany, speaks decent English, and one day she made some peanut butter cookies. she said "you try it?" i tried it, and it was awful. everyone else tried it, and thought it was awful (but we were very polite by not spitting it out and gagging in front of her!)
    finally, one of the waitresses asked her what she put in it. she pointed to the jar of peanut butter, the flour, the butter, etc., and then she pointed to the "salt" that the recipe called for.
    it was the jar of garlic salt.
    so, big sis (who's 5'4"), if your peanut butter cookie story isn't worse than this, post it!
    and if you made the recipe work, post that instead.
    thanks!

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  10. Yes, it's a set-up. Once she calms down, she'll probably write it up and post it here (unless she decides to start her own blog).

    Here's a hint: there were neither peanut butter nor cookies involved.

    We have laughed at her expense. And it's all the funnier because she was and is an excellent cook.

    Fear not. She'll break down and tell it. But I did sort of give it way.

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  11. basil,you're mean. funny, but mean!
    and, big sis (who's 5'4"), if you start your own blog, i'll read it. basil isn't the sole recipient of the funny gene in your family! (and, you're a lot nicer than your little brother)

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  12. I wonder if I'd be known as The Little Brother (who's 6'2"). Probably not. I'm thinking "RSA." You can figure that one out easily enough, I think.

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  13. Are we gonna start swapping peanut butter stories? Because this one time at band camp…
    Anywhoo, I saw the pound cake recipe and had to comment. I recently got almost the same recipe from my father, who got it from his mother, and it’s almost identical. The only thing differences are instead of 3 sticks of butter we do 2 sticks of butter and 1 of margarine & I normally do 2 teaspoons of Vanilla and 2 of some other flavor (Normally Lemon or Orange).

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  14. The Mean Sister (who is 5'6")March 7, 2005 at 4:27 PM

    I really want her to share her recipe for chicken and dumplings (or was that dumpling)...yes, I am mean!! :)

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  15. Oh my goodness! I forgot all about that!

    You are EVIL!!

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  16. hmmmm...evil seems to run in the family....

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  17. the "SA" part is easy enough, but does the "R" stand for "Real", "Royal", or "Related"?

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  18. Carnival of the Recipes #30

    "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works."
    -Ecclesiastes 9:7

    DRINKS:
    Triticale starts us off with the only liquid refreshment, Whiskey Mango Foxtrot. "Once I thought of the nam...

    ReplyDelete

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