Perfect Pound Cake
A lovely pound cake that is used as the base for both Chocolate Marble cake and Lemon Poppy-Seed cake. Of course, it is wonderful on its own, especially served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
Grease & flour 1 loaf pan (8" x 4" x 2 ½") [20 cm x 10 cm x 6.5 cm] or a 4 or 6 cup [1 to 1.5 liter] fluted tube pan.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the cake's structure.
Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each to incorporate the additional ingredients and strengthen the structure.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. The batter will be almost ½ inch from the top of the 4-cup loaf pan. (if your pan is slightly smaller, use any excess batter for cupcakes.) Bake 55 to 65 minutes (35 to 45 minutes in a fluted tube pan) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with buttered foil after 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
To get an attractive split down the middle of the crust, wait until the natural split is about to develop (about 20 minutes) and then with a lightly greased sharp knife or single-edge razor blade make a shallow mark about 6 inches long down the middle of the cake. This must be done quickly so the oven door does not remain open very long or the cake will fall. When cake splits, it will open along the mark.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and invert it onto a greased wire rack. If baked in a loaf pan, to keep the bottom from splitting, reinvert so that the top is up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.
Add with the dry ingredients and proceed as indicated above:
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