The origin of the name “pound cake” goes back to the fact that it often consists of equal amounts of butter, sugar, egg and flour, one pound of each to be precise. But not only the pound cake, the sponge cake also consists of these ingredients (originally in equal amounts as well). It is not the ingredients that make the difference, it is the order in which the main ingredients are combined to the batter, the mixing method. The ratios on the other hand (although being the original the name giver) are not that important.
For a pound cake first mix the butter and sugar until fluffy and its volume increased by one third (3-4 minutes of beating on medium to high speed). Important for the success is that the butter is at room temperature (and not still cold from the fridge). This brings little air bubbles into the dough which will help the dough rise – if done right, no baking powder is needed. This method is called the creaming method.
For sponge cakes on the other hand the sugar is mixed with eggs in the first step, which is called the foaming method.
For this lemon-blueberry pound cake I moved away from the equal ratios by reducing the fat content as well as using less eggs. Also no baking powder is used for additional chemical leavening – the creaming of butter and sugar does it’s job. Together with the raspberry mississippi mud cake this lemon-blueberry cake has become my go-to cake.
P.S.: If you want to know more on ratios in cooking and baking, not only for doughs or batters, but also for sauces and meats, Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio is an interesting read.
LEMON-BLUEBERRY POUND CAKE
inspired by “Oldfashioned Pound Cake” in “Ratio” by Michael Ruhlman
Ingredients (for one loaf pan of 28 cm or 9 x 5 inch):
160 g soft butter (room temperature)
225 g granulated sugar
1 tsp of salt
4 eggs (medium, 53 g each)
juice and zest of one organic lemon
juice and zest of one organic lime
1 tsp vanilla paste (or pulp of one vanilla bean)
225 g flour
150 g blueberries
butter and flour for buttering the pan
150 g icing sugar
3 Tbsp of lemon or lime juice*
* I used a mixture of lemon and lime juice, 3 tbsp of what was left over from the cake
1) Butter and flour the loaf pan.
2) In a bowl, beat butter with a hand or standing mixer for one minute. Add sugar and salt and continue beating at medium to high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until butter-sugar batter has increased by a third in volume and is pale. Add eggs one by one, slowly mixing them into the batter.
3) Preheat oven to 170 ºC.
4) Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and lime juice, each, the zest of the lemon and the lime, and the vanilla paste. Mix in flour at medium to low speed until all flour is incorporated. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
5) Bake the pound cake in the lower half of the oven for 60 minutes at 170 ºC. Ones backed through (test with a tooth pick or knife – if is through if it comes out clean), take the loaf pan out of the oven and let cake rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the loaf pan onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
6) Once the cake is cooled, for the glaze, combine the icing sugar and citrus juices (it should be a viscous glaze, if not add icing sugar or citrus juices to make it less or more liquid) and heat to approximately 40 ºC. Brush onto the cooled cake and let dry.
Keeps one week in the fridge, well wrapped in aluminum foil.
Hello & welcome to Strudel & Cream! I am Alexandra and this is my creative playground where you will find visual food stories from the heart of Europe! (Food) photography, the process of preparing food and exploring new (and old) places are my daily yoga - and that is what this place is about.