Butter pound cake – Christine’s recipes

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Since my first failure on the seemingly simple butter cake, I have started my mini search on butter cake recipes. In order not to waste ingredients, I am looking for recipes using whole eggs instead of yolks only. I’ll probably try those when I want to bake some egg white cookies. That is, if I am able to eat cookies first..

The first try was a disaster which I can’t remember how exactly it happened. That’s why writing a food/baking journal is so important, especially when u are on a personal quest to become a better cook/baker, as with anything else.

My second try was a simple butter cake using one-bowl method. It finally looks like a cake. I have a colleague who is a real connoisseur and never run out of descriptive words for food and taste. I wonder why he does not pursue his love for food. With his abilities, I am sure he can be a real expert well sought for food tasting. Anyway, he gives 55-65 marks for my cake. He was being kind I think. Lol. It sure tasted decent, but did not rise well enough, causing an over dense cake. It was also dry probably due to improper mixing. I sure am not a talented baker, hence I need to keep records and notes. Used to bake a couple of stuffs and didn’t note it down. Now I realised the importance of it.

Anyway, I decided to give creaming method a try, for better leavening effect. I have also wanted to make pound cake. So what better than butter pound cake using creaming method?

Overall, I am very satisfied with this bake. More than the simple butter cake. Shall let the connoisseur try tmr. 🙂

This recipe is taken from Christine’s Recipes – Butter Pound Cake

Ingredients
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
105g sugar (original calls for 175g. I used about 60%.)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50ml milk

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease a regular loaf pan (11.5×22.5×5.5cm), and line with baking paper.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt. (This is the same as self-raising flour.)
3. Beat butter on low speed till creamy.
4. Add sugar and increase to medium speed. Beat till pale and creamy. This is creaming.
5. Beat eggs in a bowl, add to batter in 3 batches, ensuring that it is well mixed before the next addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
6. Sift in flour mixture in 3 batches also, folding it in with a spatula, making sure there are no lumps of flour, but not over mixed too. (Over mixing produces tough cake.)
7. Mix in milk quickly. Pour into lined baking tin. Bake 20min. Then reduce to 170 degree Celsius and bake for another 20-25min. Extend if needed. Monitor the temperature and time as different ovens work differently.

Notes:
– After 20min at 180 Celsius, my cake had a little crack. Wanted to skip the part to cut the top of cake so it doesn’t crack just anywhere. But too bad. My oven was probably too hot. I followed recipe instructions and made a line cut along the length of cake. At the end, the initial small crack (formed before 20minutes was up) enlarged.
– I baked for additional 15minutes at 170 degree Celsius. A dark brown crust formed on top. Too brown. I should have lowered the temperature to 160 or 150 towards the end. After 45minutes, the cake was bubbling with butter. But the top had a nice brown. I used my knife as a skewer but it was greased with butter so I was not sure whether it was undercooked inside or purely oily. Lol..it was too late when I realised. Overbaked.. For sure.
– Creaming requires butter softened at room temperature. When u press the butter with your finger it should form a dent but holds its shape. Otherwise, it is too soft and oily to retain air. As a result, the cake will be dense. Refer to Baking Tips & Hints from Baking Pan for more information. I think I made the mistake of softening it for too long. My connoisseur colleague said this time round the cake is improved but still too tough inside.
– I was particularly attentive in the creaming, trying to achieve soft and fluffy. In other words, creamy. The sugar did not entirely dissolve. But why would sugar dissolve in fat? I think eggs help to bind butter and sugar together.
– Added eggs slowly, 1/3 at a time, making sure it was well mixed before addition of the next 1/3. This is because eggs act as an emulsifier. Some recipes I saw online mentioned there is no need to worry if addition of eggs lead to curdling. Maybe. But after some failures, I tend to be more careful on this. If the purpose of egg is to emulsify, the mixture should look well mixed after it’s addition.
– Add flour by three batches too. I made some cakes with lumps and it looked scary. I do not want to over mix to allow too much gluten formation. I want a cake, not a tough baked batter. No lumps desired too, so I scrap the bottom to make sure the flour is well mixed in.
– Mix quickly after adding milk.

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