Putting Out the Brain Fire Pound Cake

From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina Garten 2008

NOTE:  Although pound cake is a basic dessert, making it successfully takes a bit of care.  Use COOL room temperature butter--take the butter out of the fridge and in about an hour it should yield a bit but still be quite cool and even break a bit.  That is what you want.

Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top.

Bake for 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.  NOTE:  My cake took much longer to bake.  Almost 90 minutes.  Start checking your cake at 70 minutes and don't be surprised if it takes awhile longer.

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