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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pound Cake: Review

I finally had a slice of my pound cake (Paula Deen recipe).  Three slices were reserved for my husband and myself while the rest went to my coworkers.  Here's what I thought:

As suggested by the recipe posts, I used 2.5 cups of sugar instead of 3 (see update below).  That left the cake slightly less sweet and more available for pairing it with other foods.  I bet if served with a fruity compote, the subtle sweetness would support any sugary or tart flavors.  The crust seemed sweeter, making that part of the cake more desirable to me and my husband.  This recipe would work well in a bundt pan so it can maximize the surface area.  I had made mine in an 8" round pan.  Be forewarned that the recipe makes too much batter for an 8" round, so bail out about 1.5 cups.

The texture of the inner cake was dense and firm.  The outside had crusted so it was harder, but not crunchy.  It also tasted noticeably different than the inner cake, allowing a large range of flavor in a bite.  There was a prominent buttery taste that I personally didn't like, but I won't hold that against the cake ... I really just don't like the taste of butter.

As for moisture, this cake wasn't particularly dry or moist.  It was right in the middle so I completely forgot about commenting on it until a day later.  I've seen other recipes say that adding sour cream will make it more moist.

This is a heavy cake, so I can't imagine scarfing down a lot of it.  The buttery taste and density doesn't seem to be elegant enough for a special occasion cake.  I really see this cake simply served, sprinkle of powdered sugar, paired with something very sweet like pie filling or ice cream.

UPDATE (09-24-2009)

I made this cake again because I needed to do some carving for my husband's birthday.  This time around I forgot about not adding as much sugar.  The cake still came out great, and I think my husband and I agree it tastes better with the full 3 cups of sugar.  What was interesting is that the top crust ... kind of ... collapsed.  I baked the batch in a 10" round pan.  The batter amount was perfect for that size.  After trimming off the top, I was still left with a 2" cake.  After the cake cooled, I went to flip it out of the pan and on to a cooling rack.  My hand made the top crust collapse.  There seemed to be a thin pocket of air from the very top crust and the rest of the cake.  After removing the broken pieces, the cake was left missing a 6" circle of crust from the center.  But man did that crust taste good.  All nice and carmelized, crispy and sweet.  I definitely need to buy a bundt pan.  Anywho, this recipe is great if you need to carve a cake.  I had 2 10" x 2" layers that had a spiral path carved in to it.  The cake was easy to cut while still allowing me to maintain control (I used a pumpkin carving knife because it was like a little saw and also a steak knife when I needed a longer blade).

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