Grandmother Sarah’s recipe makes an excellent basic pound cake.
Difficulty: Easy to Medium (lots of sifting and some folding)
2 ¾ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3 cups flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond flavoring (if you don’t like almond, just double the vanilla)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar. Add yolks of eggs one at a time. Sift flour with salt three times. Seriously, the recipe calls for this – just think of your own grandmother as you sift again and again. Mix sour cream and soda. Alternate sour cream and flour into butter sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until ingredients disappear. (I sift the flour onto a piece of waxed paper and then divide it into four sections so I can get the amounts right when adding to creamed mixture.) Add flavoring.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but still moist and fold in by hand. (I use a handheld mixer for this. Do not do this step first because they will begin to separate while you are creaming the butter, etc.) Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 (325 convection) for 50 minutes or so. If you’re splitting the batter into more than one pan, check before 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of cake. It should come out clean.