My friend Christopher has created a gallery on his Facebook page titled "From My COVID Kitchen." In it, he uploads photos of the culinary creations that have kept him sane and satiated during this unprecedented time of quarantine. Christopher's wry title aside, I think it really does us good to try new things during this difficult period - not only for distraction but also to learn something. I, too, have been trying my hand at new recipes - most of them Martha's. Many of these recipes have been on my 'bake-one-day' list for far too long. Now that I have the time, I figured I should probably tackle some of them.
Martha's Cakes book, I kept coming back to the golden allure of this simple, basic cake: a pleasure to make, a pleasure to eat.
The recipe makes two loaves and both came out beautifully. They cook at a low-ish temperature (325 degrees) for just over an hour, resulting in the perfect golden hue. I was very happy with how these turned out. I've included the recipe below.
I hope you try this cake. It's simple enough for a novice baker.
MARTHA'S BASIC POUND CAKE
(A pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs...)
MAKES TWO CAKES
2 cups (one pound or four sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 pound (about three cups) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/4 cups (one pound) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 large eggs (one pound), room temperature, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325. Generously butter two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium; beat in vanilla. Add eggs in four batches, beating thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in four batches, beating until just incorporated.
3. Divide batter between two prepared loaf pans. Tap pans on counter to reduce air pockets; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks to cool completely.