Friday, March 27, 2009

Elvis Presley's Whipping Cream Pound Cake

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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.

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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
Epicurious

Ingredients
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.

36 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! These pictures look totally heavenly. I cannot believe how good this pound cake looks. I mean, I always love a poundcake, but this one looks extra good. It's got that moist gleam, you know? I am DEFINITELY saving this recipe.

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  2. Wow, this looks other wordly - nice work! I have to try this.

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  3. I think we need to put you on the Food Network...or maybe as the new editor of Cook's Illustrated, instead of that guy with the glasses. This was so interesting to read...and that cake is making me weak in the knees. Wait! I think I have some whipping cream that's about to expire too.

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  4. Faaaabulous-looking pound cake there, girl!!

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  5. I really LOVE how you test out different techniques for the same recipes. It is so helpful for the rest of us! I agree with Audrey - you are meant to work in in the Cook's Illustrated test kitchen; you would be a natural! I think both of the pound cakes look delicious!

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  6. Excellent comparative study in mixing!

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  7. i love how you compare techniques!
    my mom LOVES pound cake so i'll definitely look over these techniques again when i make cake for her!

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  8. I don't know both of those look yummy to me. I think it awesome that you are curious about the
    why(s) of a recipe. (Thx, I'm getting mini lessons on baking)
    ~ingrid

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  9. that looks so good and buttery! this would be great with a nice hot cup of coffee.

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  10. What a cool cake, and I love your experiment on it. I always wondered the differences between overmixing and getting it just right. Looks wonderful!

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  11. Elvis Presley had a pound cake recipe? Who knew? It looks awesome.

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  12. Steph, this pound cake looks amazing. Just looking at the photos you can see that beautiful texture and the denseness of this cake. Yummy!!!

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  13. Wow! That looks absolutely amazing! :o)

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  14. OH! ho! This sounds divine! It seems the king had a thing for great food... okay, yeah... peanut butter and bananas is not hard to beat, but this... OH! MY! Looks absolutely and totaly decadent! WOW!

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  15. that pound cake looks DELISH. my goodness. i want a bite.
    now ;)

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  16. I actually have that cake saved in my recipe binder - but I've never made it. (figures)

    Glad to know that it works out - and it tastes good!

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  17. Looks fantastic - I love pound cake! It would be dangerous to make this one - I know I'd finish the whole thing!

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  18. I'm Louise. I read Cookie Madness all the time and followed a pointer from Anna's site to yours. The cake looks very tasty. I think on the beating technique, since you only had half the batter, you probably should have reduced the final beating from 5 minutes to maybe 3 minutes. ;-)

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  19. This looks so moist and delicious! Great job! Good thing your cream was about to expire!!! :)

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  20. this looks so nice. i have to try these :)

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  21. Yum what a decadent pound cake! Maybe for a job you should think of working in product development for a food company. =)

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  22. Steph, are sure you are not a psychic?? If you aren't, then how can you read my mind so well? I have tried making pound cakes many, many, many cakes and each time they end up in the garbage bin. I really like Sarah Lee's pound cake and each time, I hope I can recreate it. And now there comes your post, saying it has the texture of SL's cake. You are bringing so much hope for me Steph! I can't wait to try your recipe. Maybe I should try it as soon I finsihed typing :-)

    I'll let you know how mine goes. Many thanks!

    Christina

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  23. This is great. And I love that you said it was like the Sara Lee cake but without chemicals, because I should admit that I love Sara Lee pound cake but like you, don't love that it has a long shelf life. Thanks for posting this and the great pics. Will have to give it a try!

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  24. This sounds wonderful! I love how you did the side by side comparison. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Wow, what great pictures! The cake looks insanely moist. Nice job!

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  26. My oh my that looks good! I love pound cake, so I've got to give this beauty a try!

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  27. I absolutely love pound cake - especially when it is described as soft as this one. Looking forward to making this soon.

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  28. Steph, Steph, Steph! I couldn't get this one to work. I baked it twice already. The second time was better than the first time. Mine has a good texture - it's smooth and velvety. It's moist and not dry. However, the cross section these wet spots all over it, especially from half way down to the bottom. The wet spots look like lines and it's in a yellow colour deeper than the cake. What do you think went wrong? What do you think I should do? Help!!!

    Oh, I didn't start off with a cold oven, do you think that could be it? I beat for only 3 minutes at the flour part.

    Christina

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  29. OMG Steph! This looks AWESOME! I am getting my whipped cream and strawberries out now . . .

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  30. I just wanted to thank you for posting this! I made this last week and it was such a hit! I blogged about it here and linked to you in the post :)
    http://www.amandascookin.com/2009/08/elvis-presleys-whipping-cream-pound.html

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  31. I've made this cake 3 times. I've never had holes in my cake... as rap the pans on something hard. I do get a lot of air bubbles on the top. I use a kitchen aid and beat for 5 minutes. I've use turbinado sugar and the other day I made it and used 1 c light brown sugar. I always start with a cold oven. It always comes out perfect. Only thing I changed was type of sugar as I don't use refined white.

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  32. I happened to chance upon your blog and must say you have a treasure trove of recipes. I tried this pound cake and while it is delectable in its own right I can't help but think that my mom's old fashioned recipe has the edge for not only yielding the softest, fluffiest cake ever but also being very low on the calorie count. I suppose if you like your pound cakes dense, it might not be your cuppa tea but anyways I'll post the recipe here with the hope that you might honour it with a place in your test kitchen and enlighten us with your comments. you will be tantalized by the fact that while having a rock hard batter the cake turns out beautifully soft and fluffy. Maybe it has something to do with her baking time and temperature as well. Sorry if my english is not very proper, I am not a native speaker :)

    My mom's basic butter cake
    3/4 cup flour
    3/4 cup canola/vegetable oil
    1 cup sugar
    2 large or 3 medium eggs
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    2 level tsp baking powder

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 160 C.
    2. Beat sugar and oil on high for 3-5 minutes
    3. Add eggs one by one beating lightly after each addition.
    4. Turn off electric beater and incorporate sifted flour with a wooden spoon.
    5. Also add the baking powder and vanilla essence (batter will be stiff)
    6. drop batter into oiled and floured baking pan.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes on 160C. When puffed and cooked on the outside reduce heat to 130-135 and cook till tests for done ness.
    6. Remove from oven and cool.

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    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to try this recipe... about how long do you cook it at the lower temp? I want to avoid opening the oven too soon (or multiple times) to check for done-ness... (and what size pan does this fill)?

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  33. I tried this yesterday (halved the recipe, as I was short on eggs), and it turned out beautifully! Half of the recipe was perfectly loaf-sized. And I'm thinking I might have to make some more, because it's almost gone already! :)

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  34. I agree. Great cake and thanks for testing it!

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  35. I love pound cake and I will have to try this one... looks so good

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