COLD OVEN METHOD
NOTE- Cold Oven means DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN! The cake is baked from a cold oven.
I never knew why exactly but from what I have found on the internet that denser cakes have a finer grain, crumb, and texture when started in a cold oven.
Having grown up in a home where we made the “Old Fashioned “Real” Pound Cake I decided since I had everything at hand, it was time to make a real pound cake. Which is one of the simplest cakes that you can make.
This is a heavier dense pound cake, which uses NO Leavening what so ever, it rises from the volume of air that is beat into it. As you might have guess already your grandmother had some really good arm muscles built up to make this cake, well before the invention of electricity or electric mixers it was all done by hand.
As you might guess again, I do have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, and you are certainly right in guessing this was NOT mixed by hand!
My mother told me years ago (as in 4 decades) that this was the first cake that young girls learned to make, because it was easy to remember.
To make this cake it is as simple as pound of everything. Butter, Eggs, Sugar and Flour, a pinch of salt, dash of vanilla, and mace or nutmeg, I used freshly grated nutmeg.
OLD FASHIONED “REAL” POUND CAKE
1 Pound Butter (room temperature)
8 Eggs (Large) 7 Eggs (Extra Large) this is what I keep on hand.
3 Cups Flour Sifted
2 1/4 cups Sugar
1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 to 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg or Mace (according to personal preference)
With the flat beater of the Kitchen Aid, cream the 4 sticks butter at medium speed, for about 5 minutes, until nice and fluffy. (I stopped twice and scrapped the bowl down)
Gradually add the sugar and continue to cream the butter and sugar, adding the sugar by 1/2 cup increments slowly. (I stopped twice to scrape the bowl down)
When the creamed mixture is nice and fluffy
Add your Eggs one at a time beating on medium speed for about 1 minute each, this is what helps to incorporate the air into the cake, in place of leavening.
Once all of the eggs have been added, add 1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla (depends on preference) add the pinch of salt probably about 1/4 teaspoon, could be 1/2 teaspoon if you used unsalted butter.
If using nutmeg or mace, add this to the flour just stirring in a bit (it will all get incorporated when adding the flour (I used 1/2 a grated nutmeg in mine)
Slowly add flour in 1/2 cup measures, stirring speed to avoid flour flying all over, and gradually add flour like this until all is incorporated.
Either Grease and dust with flour (I greased with my butter wrappers) and dusted with flour, you could use PAM or other spray coating. and dust with flour.
Pour batter into pans, and place in a COLD OVEN, then set the oven to 325
LOAF PANS– the baking time will be about 1 hour (check at about 45 minutes to see how they look as every oven is different.
TUBE PAN– set batter filled pan in COLD OVEN, and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (once again all ovens are different and you will want to check at about the 1 1/2 hour mark, and go from there.
What you are looking for is the top will ridge up and break, the cake will be a light brown and insert a knife in the center of the ridge and when it comes out clean it will be time to remove from the oven.
Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for approx 20 minutes, then remove from pans, or if using the tube pan, it is helpful to run a long knife around the tube, before turning upside down.
This cake is better after it sets for a day, the flavors develop and the cake becomes more moist.
I used loaf pans this time because as a child my Mothers favorite way to have a slice of this cake was to slice about the width of a slice of bread and then place a slice in the toaster, and it will brown slightly and serve with butter (like you need more butter) but this was very good. I have found that sometime if you have a toaster oven this works better as the slice is not as large in size as a slice of bread.
This is also good with either season fruit on top of it (such as strawberries) or other fruits, but it is great alone!