Cornmeal Pound Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes 12 to 14 servings, with

    2 to 3

    thin slices per serving

Appears in

Adding cornmeal to this pound cake provides a delicate crunch to its satiny texture.

Ingredients

  • cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cups (1 pound) unsifted powdered sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (4 ounces) yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup (25 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

Baking Equipment

One 10-inch tube pan or other 12-cup decorative Bundt-type pan

Method

Baking Preparations

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a paper towel, grease the bottom and sides of the pan with solid shortening. Dust generously with all-purpose flour, shake to distribute, and tap out the excess.

Ingredient Preparations

Pour the flour, baking powder and salt in that order into a triple sifter. Sift onto a sheet of waxed paper, and set aside.

Sift the cups of powdered sugar to remove lumps onto another sheet of waxed paper.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and whisk just to combine yolks and whites.

Pour the milk into a liquid cup measure.

Place the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer.

Making the Cake

With the flat beater (paddle), cream the butter on medium speed (#5) until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Reduce the speed to low (#3), and slowly add the sifted sugar (if the speed is any higher, your face will be covered with flying powdered sugar). When all the sugar is added (about 1 minute), stop the machine and scrape the mixture clinging to the sides into the center of the bowl. Continue to cream on medium speed (#5) until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture (3 to 4 minutes).

With the mixer still on medium speed, pour in the eggs, cautiously at first, tablespoon by tablespoon, as if you were adding oil when making mayonnaise. If at any time the mixture appears watery or shiny, stop the flow of eggs, and increase the speed until a smooth, silken appearance returns. Then decrease the speed and resume adding eggs.

Continue to cream, scraping the sides of the bowl at least once, or until the mixture appears fluffy white, velvety and increased in volume (about 2 to 3 minutes). Detach the beater and bowl from the mixer, and tap the beater against the side of the bowl to free the excess.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in one-fourth of the flour mixture. Then add one-third of the milk, stirring until blended. Repeat the procedure, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with the final addition of flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl often and mix until smooth after each addition. Stir in the cornmeal just until blended.

Baking the Cake

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 62 to 67 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cooling the cake

Place the cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. With mitts, tilt and rotate the pan, and gently tap it to see if the cake releases from the sides. If not, or if in doubt, run the blade of a small metal spatula along the cake’s edge and the metal rim of the pan, freeing the sides and allowing air to get under the cake as it is rotated. Place the rack on top of the cake and invert. Cool completely.

Storing the Cake

If you plan to serve the cake within 24 hours, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. This cake’s flavor improves after one day’s aging.

To freeze, cover the plastic-wrapped package with foil, labeling the contents and date. Freeze for no longer than 2 weeks.

Finishing the Cake

Pour the ¼ cup powdered sugar into a sieve, and tap to coat cake’s surface lightly. Cut the cake into thin slices with a sharp or serrated knife, using a sawing motion.

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