Recipe by Steve_G
From the Washington Post Food Section, Wednesday, April 24, 2002.
Top Review by Steve_G
Did this over the weekend, produced a perfect pound cake -- fine crumb, thick tender crust. Not too sweet. One of the best I've ever had. I used The Cake Bible method as I'm more comfortable with the consistancy that it yeilds: Mix eggs and yolks with 1/4 of the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer, run the mixer on low for a couple minutes, add the butter and 3/4 of the sour cream. Mix on low until combined then on medium speed for 90 seconds, scrape, add egg mixture in 3 increments, mixing for 20 seconds after each addition. I did not use the vanilla bean paste and it's not necessary. The vanilla taste is intense, maybe too strong for some. This is a large cake, with a great amount of dry ingredients. You will need a large mixer, especially if you use the alternate method described in this review.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan
- 1 cup bleached cake flour, plus
- 3 tablespoons bleached cake flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature,plus additional for the pan
- 2 3⁄4 cups vanilla flavored sugar, plus
- 2 tablespoons vanilla flavored sugar (1/2 split bean in 3 cups of sugar for two days)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla beans, paste or 1⁄2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (optional)
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 large egg whites, beaten with the cream of tartar in a clean bowl unit firm peaks
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- confectioners' sugar, for sifting over the top of the cake
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prep an 18 cup, 10" (10 to 10 1/2 inches across the top, height 4 1/2 inches).
- A Bundt pan is not big enough.
- Grease& flour the pan, tap out any excess.
- Set aside.
- Sift the all-purpose and cake flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg onto a sheet of wax paper twice.
- In a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar in 4 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
- Gradually add the vanilla seeds, extract and paste, if using, and beat until combined.
- Add the whole eggs, 1 at a time, and beat for 30 seconds after each addition.
- Add the 2 egg yolks and beat for 30 seconds.
- Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the sifted flour mixture in 3 additions and the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl to keep the batter even-textured.
- GENTLY fold beaten whites into the batter until thoroughly incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
- Carefully invert the cake onto a greased wire rack and remove the pan.
- Grease the first rack and invert the cake again onto it (it'll be right side up) Set aside to cool completely.
- Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over the top of the cake.
- *Nielsen-MasseyVanilla's Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste is a combination of vanilla and vanilla bean seeds.