Total Calories: 357
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Using a pastry brush, generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with shortening. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then lightly brush the parchment with shortening and set aside.
2. Place the flour and salt together in a strainer or sifter and sift into a bowl. Whisk to mix well and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 45 seconds. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar, then stop the mixer and scrape the mixture that clings to the sides of the bowl into the center. Continue beating at medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the eggs and egg yolks and beat well stop at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and blend well.
4. Using the mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold in about one-third of the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl and folding just until the flour mixture is incorporated. In the same manner, fold in half of the remaining flour mixture, and finally the remaining flour mixture.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center with your fingertip and a wooden skew
6. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Run the blade of a metal frosting spatula or dull knife around the insides of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert a lightly greased wire rack over the cake, invert the rack and pan together, and lift off the pan. Peel off the parchment. Place another greased rack over the cake and invert to turn upright. Let cool completely.
ALMOND POUND CAKE: Add 7 ounces high-quality packaged almond paste, at room temperature, along with the butter. Add 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract along with the vanilla. When the cake comes out of the oven, in a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Put over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon pure almond extract. After turning the warm cake out onto the rack, poke the bottom of the cake all over with a wooden skewer and brush or spoon about one-third of the almond syrup over the cake bottom. Turn the cake upright and pierce the top all over with the skewer, then brush or spoon the remaining almond syrup over the top and sides of the cake. Let cool completely, then wrap tightly and store overnight before serving.
CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE: Substitute 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa for an equal amount of the flour. After the cake is cooled completely, spoon a chocolate glaze over the top, if desired.
PEANUT BUTTER POUND CAKE: Beat in 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter along with the butter.
TO MAKE AHEAD: For optimal flavor, eat the cake within 2 days of baking. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Freeze, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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