Let’s discuss the pound cake.
The pound cake was originally given this name because the ingredients consisted of a pound each of flour, sugar, eggs and butter. That’s pretty straightforward and a good start.
I’ve always been a pound cake groupie but found myself usually sticking with the traditional buttermilk, sour cream or five-flavor variety when baking. However, I got the itch to expand my horizons last fall. So I embarked on a 16-week journey — chronicled on my blog, cookingwithcrevolyn.com — that I affectionately called “The Pound Cake Challenge.”
I had a friend tell me the challenge would be not to gain the pounds! Oh, so true.
Each week I made a pound cake recipe I never made before. I quickly found out there were some seriously good pound cake recipes out there I had never even explored.
During the challenge, folks asked me which pound cake was my favorite, but honestly I couldn’t decide. Imagine the yumminess of these varieties and I’ll think you’ll understand the dilemma: hummingbird pound cake; coffeecake pound cake; Key lime pound cake; caramel pound cake and my personal favorite (specifically for Christmas) red velvet peppermint pound cake, just to name a few. In addition, the coconut cream pound cake got the most hits on the blog of all the pound cake recipes which earned it a spot on the Best of 2013 Cooking with Crevolyn recipes. And rightfully so. It is pretty amazing.
I have found several things make for the perfect pound cake:
Before combining any of the ingredients, make sure they are at room temperature. This will result in a cake with a perfect texture.
Take time to properly cream the butter and sugar together until it’s fluffy and light.
Resist the urge to overmix once the dry ingredients are added.
Prep the cake pan well. I prefer butter and sugar to coat.
When baking, place the cake pan in the center of the oven and keep the oven door closed until reaching the minimum baking time.
After 16 amazing pound cake recipes during this challenge, plus my tried-and-true favorites, it is my firm belief you just can’t beat a good pound cake for dessert. Truth be told, I’ve been known to eat pound cake for breakfast. It’s a versatile food, you know. So what you have here is a recipe for peach pound cake, combining a pretty fabulous cake recipe with the most perfect of summer fruits, the peach. I think you’ll agree it’s the best of both worlds.
Peach pound cake
* Butter and sugar for coating pan
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups white sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups fresh or frozen peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat a 10-inch tube pan with butter and then dust with white sugar.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Then stir in the vanilla.
Reserve 1/4 cup of flour and sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
Use the reserved 1/4 cup flour to coat the peaches then fold the floured peaches into the batter. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.