Poundcake, with its impressive amounts of butter, eggs, flour, and sugar, has long been something I've loved to eat, and I thought I produced a pretty good one. But the one made by Grandaisy Bakery in Manhattan kills mine. Perhaps not too surprising, since it turns out its recipe is adapted from the great Flo Braker's Simple Art of Perfect Baking (Chronicle Books, 2003).
I can almost promise that it's richer, moister, and more flavorful than any you've tasted. With a few adaptations, it's not difficult to make.
I depart from the original (and from its derivative) primarily by making the whole thing in the food processor. Purists will balk, but I have long found that if you're careful you can avoid the tough crumb that comes from overdeveloping the gluten in the flour. It takes a bit of restraint - never pulse more than you must - but if you don't have a standing mixer and aren't a fan of washing multiple bowls, it's the way to go.
The fantastic consistency and flavor of this cake rely on almond paste and a simple soak of lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar. The cake acts like a sponge, absorbing the additional liquid and its flavors.
A word of advice about this cake or any other Bundt cake: Butter and flour the pan well. Even nonstick Bundt pans can be tricky. There's nothing more frustrating than having your cake fall partly out, leaving the pretty top bit clinging to the pan.
Recipe on Page 2
Time: About 1 1/2 hours, plus 30 minutes' resting
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for pan
Flour for pan
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
17-ounce tube almond paste
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-cup Bundt pan. Put lemon juice, orange juice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
Put almond paste and remaining 2 cups sugar in food processor and process until well combined; add butter and continue processing until light and fluffy. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time along with zest and vanilla, and continue to process until smooth.
Stop the machine, add the flour, baking powder and salt, and pulse a few times - just until the dry ingredients are integrated (be careful not to over process, or the cake will become tough). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. When a skewer or thin-bladed knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly.
Pour the citrus soak over the cake and let it sit for about 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the cake releases from the pan easily. Cut into slices.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
Source: Adapted from Grandaisy BakeryTime53.4183 -5.65297