This was one delicious pound cake! I have nothing to compare it to because I've never made a pound cake before, but this one reminded me of a Sara Lee minus the chemicals. If I didn't have a carton of whipping cream that was about to expire, I probably wouldn't have made this. The texture of this was everything I ever wanted in a pound cake. Dense and compact, but very tender and melt in your mouth. I don't think I've eaten a softer cake..I guess it makes sense when there's a cup each of butter and heavy cream! Of course, I just couldn't make this recipe without wondering why the batter had to be mixed 5 mins after everything was added! What a way to make me all paranoid about overmixing. I read a lot of reviews, secretly hoping that someone would say the 5 mins of the mixer running on medium high speed was wrong. Instead, most people just raved about this cake so I decided to see for myself the difference between making this the way it was written and the way we're generally used to by stopping the mixer after everything was incorporated.
I made 2/3rds of the recipe because I had a feeling I didn't have enough mini pans. I didn't want to bake leftover batter in a muffin tin either because that would mean having to open the oven door during baking. I also made a few modifications, reducing the egg to 6 to make the recipe easier to divide, the sugar from 3 cups to 2 because many reviewers complained about it being too sweet and upped the salt to 1 tsp because 3/4 tsp seemed too little for a cake with that much sugar and flour. Since there is no leavener in this cake, the butter, sugar and eggs have to be beaten until they're really fluffy and well incorporated or else it won't rise properly. After all the ingredients were added, the flour disappeared and the batter looked homogenous I stopped the machine and filled my first two minipans with 4 1/4 cup scoops each. Next (for the remaining batter) I turned the mixer on medium high for a very long 5 minutes. When all the beating was done, I filled my next two pans with 4 1/4 cup scoops each and put all 4 pans in a cold oven.
Left: beating for 5 minutes on medium high; Right: beating until flour disappeared and batter looked homogeneous
The cake that was whipped for 5 minutes had a nicer exterior and rose higher, but when it came to the texture, the cake that I mixed just until the flour disappeared was more delicate and tender. It also didn't have the occasional tunnel that was found in the loaves whipped for 5 minutes. I guess when they say don't overmix, you really shouldn't over mix.. even when the recipe says the secret is overmixing! Next time I make this I'm going to try it with a preheated oven or maybe a little bit of baking powder for a better lift (I can't decide which yet). Despite it's melt in your mouth and very tender crumb it was the slightest bit too dense the next day. I also want to try Cook's Illustrated's pound cake, which doesn't have any cream...but a lot of butter! Since I made changes, it wouldn't be fair for me to review the original recipe. I was really just trying to see the difference in the 5 minute beating at the end. Also, 2/3rds of the recipe fit perfectly in 4 mini loaf pans using a 1/4 cup icecream scoop.
Elvis Presley's Whipping Cream Pound Cake
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used 1 tsp)
3 cups sugar (I used 2 cups)
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes (I used 6 eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
Special equipment: a 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity) (I used 4 mini loaf pans for 2/3rds of the recipe)
Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. (Make sure the eggs are beaten in very well) Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition (I did this in 3 additions starting with flour - cream - flour - cream - flour). Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes (I prefer to stop the machine after the flour is incorporated and the batter looks homogenous). Batter will become creamier and satiny.
Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes (I only cooled in the pan for 10 minutes). Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.