I made a cream cheese pound cake last week. I'm calling it my American Baby Pound Cake, not because it's a little pound cake but because it's adapted from several different cultural ideals of "pound cake," and that's what America's all about, right? The melting pot, people, not cake; although, if America was about cake, it would probably make me very happy and provide dentists with very busy schedules. Pound cake can be traced back to eighteenth century England, which, according to all my literature studies in college, is when the culture was rockin' and rollin' there. I can't say that I disagree: Samuel Johnson wrote the first dictionary, Jane Austen was alive (need I say more?), Josiah Wedgwood made fine earthenware and changed how dinner was served in the common household, and cooks all around were making pound cake (actually, I don't know about this, but one can only hope). Anyways, traditional pound cake was an easy recipe to remember because a lot of people were illiterate; the recipe was one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Easy right? My recipe is definitely an adaptation of this original recipe, and one that draws from the French way of baking: proportion, proportion, proportion. I did not use a pound of each of these things, and there are a couple of other things added, aside from the traditional ingredients. The recipe that I adapted was from my Mom's; this is no slight against her recipe, it's just that, well, I simply must experiment with recipes. I can't help it. I love creating things and little innovations provide me with bountiful amounts of joy. Unfortunately, I've been forgetting to take photos of things. I usually carry my camera with me in Jill, but I've been neglecting to tote it around. Anyways, here is my American Baby Pound Cake:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 3 sticks butter, softened 3 cups sugar 5 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt) 3 shakes from the pepper shaker (I used black, pure ground) 3 cups flour 1 heaping dallop of Daisy (sour cream)
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Cream the cheese and butter until fluffy. Add sugar gradually. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, salt & pepper (pepper brings out the sweetness of the cake). Add flour one cup at a time, then add sour cream. Mix together until everything is combined. Pour batter in pan and bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes. Try the toothpick test after about an hour, as every oven has a mind of its own; you don't want dried out cake!