Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pound Cake For The King

According to Mary Jenkins Langston, Elvis Presley had a sweet, sweet tooth. Langston cooked for  the King for 14 years and knew exactly what he loved to eat. While she debunks the myth that he loved jelly doughnuts ("I never saw him even once eat a jelly doughnut" —, Langston concedes that the King loved his Southern Food. And he did indeed love his "butter-soaked deep fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches" and banana icebox pies.

Another favourite of his? The pound cake. Not just any pound cake but the one made by his childhood friend Janelle McComb. According to an article in Saveur, McComb used to bake her famous friend two loaves every Christmas and Elvis loved it so much, he could eat an entire loaf himself.

Don't judge. When you taste this beaute, you'll understand. It's amazing. You can't possibly stop at a piece. Or two.

A good pound cake is really, really soul-satisfying. A great pound? Well, who can resist right? This recipe is bordering on being great. Certainly one of the best pound cakes I've tasted and the best one I've tried making. 

A tad sweet though it is (even though I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup), the cake is so, so tender with a lovely dark brown crust. It's perfect. 

Elvis Presley's favourite pound cake 
3 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar (I used 21/2 and it was sweet enough)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp salt
7 eggs
226g butter, softened and at room temp
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each time the egg is incorporated into the batter before adding more. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium-low and then add half the flour followed by the cream and then the remaining flour. Mix until incorporated then increase the speed of the mixer to medium and beat for about 5 mins till really light and satiny. 

Grease two loaf pans or a 10-inch bundt pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pans on the counter top a couple of times to release the air bubbles. 

DON'T pre-heat the oven. Place the cake tins into the oven and heat it to 180C. Bake for 1hr 15 mins or till a tester comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging on. 

Cool for at least 30 mins before cutting.  

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