[Sca-cooks] Martha Washington's pound cake

Stefan li Rous stefanlirous at austin.rr.com
Thu Nov 2 00:42:41 PST 2006

Nancy Kiel replied to me with a recipe for pound cake. Thanks for the  
recipe, although I do have a few neophyte type questions to ask.

<<< Unless you have a LARGE Bundt pan, I would recommend making a  

No, I think these are standard sized Bundt pans, although one is  
shaped like a giant rose and says "12 Cup / 2.8 Liter" on the label.   
Hmmm. This newest pan doesn't have a hole in the middle, so maybe it  
isn't exactly a "Bundt" pan.  I assume it will bake similarly.

<<<  The receipt is simple:  1/2 pound each of butter, flour, sugar
and eggs;>>>

I think someone said that this was where the name came from. All the  
ingredients were equal weights. But this doesn't seem to apply to the  
flavorings such as the rosewater or brandy, so perhaps this only  
applies to the several major ingredients. So, the eggs are also  
supposed to be, in this case, 1/2 pound?

Hmmm. Maybe partially or completely use brown sugar instead of just  
sugar. Or use some of the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend I just picked up.

<<< cream the butter;>>>

What does this mean? Whip the butter until it is soft, maybe somewhat  
fluffy, like whipped cream?

<<< separate and beat the eggs; mix all together; >>>

So, separate the egg whites and the egg yolks and then beat each  
separately? Anyone know why? Is this so the whites can whip into a  
cream/foam?, which mixed with the yolks (ie. fat) won't? How much  
beating? Although perhaps if the idea is to whip the whites until  
they are fluffy, says you are too whip them a long time. Doesn't the  
fat cause the whites to collapse once they are combined? Or does that  
problem of any fat keeping the whites from whipping up only matter  
during the whipping stage?

<<< add
two ounces of rosewater or brandy; add the grated peel of a lemon;
pour into buttered-and-floured pan; >>>

Why do you both butter and flour the pan?

<<< bake at 350 until done. >>>

That would be my initial guess. That seems to be a pretty common  
temperature for a lot of things.

<<< I'm not sure on the
actual cooking time, probably at least half an hour and more like an
hour. >>>

I wouldn't have had any idea. Thanks for the range. That way I know  
when to start looking. I assume you cook it until a toothpick stuck  
in to it comes out clean? Or, like meats, is there a core temperature  
which will tell me when a cake is done?

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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