Follow the mixing instructions carefully, as the texture of this cake is highly dependent on the techniques used to combine the ingredients.
This pound cake is a fantastic part of a summer dessert when topped with berries and almond-scented whipped cream. Decadent!
2 cups unsalted butter (four sticks), softened
3 cups baker's sugar (18 ounces by weight)
6 large eggs (10.5 oz by weight, without shells)
3 large egg yolks (4 ounces by weight, without shells)
3 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cake flour (14 ounces by weight)
1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees.. Grease and flour a bund pan.
2. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer set at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 15 seconds. With machine still on, take about 30 seconds to sprinkle in sugar. Beat mixture until light, fluffy, and almost white; 4-5 minutes, stopping mixer once or twice to scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Mix eggs (lightly beaten with additional yolks), almond extract, and water in a 2-cup glass measure with a pour spout, set in a pan of tepid water until mixture is about 70 degrees. With mixer set at medium-high speed, take 3-5 minutes to add egg mixture to butter/sugar mixture in a very slow, thin stream. Finally, beat in salt.
4. Remove bowl from mixer stand. Place half the flour into a sieve or sifter; sprinkle half of that amount over the butter mixture. Fold flour gently into the butter mixture with a rubber spatula, scraping up from bottom of bowl, until flour is incorporated. Repeat, until all flour is used.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula or wooden spoon. Bake until cake needle or tester inserted into a crack running along top comes out clean, 70-80 minutes. Let cake rest in pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool to room temperature and enjoy. Store cake wrapped in plastic, then in foil, at room temperature.
Yield: one bundt cake (serves 16-20). This recipe may be halved to yield one 9"x5"x3.5" loaf pan.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, June, 1994, pg. 20.