Please don’t hold me responsible for the lyrics. Thanks.
Guys, you remember good old Van Halen pound cake, right? My friend Cindy got the original recipe from Miss Patsy, the switchboard operator at our college (yes, we had a switchboard. That is how Old I Am). Miss Patsy made Cindy swear not to Reveal the Secret recipe to anyone. Ever. But Cindy revealed it to me, because I glamored her. No wait, that’s True Blood. She revealed it to me because she is a Nice Person. ‘Cept for I had to promise that I would not Reveal the Secret, either. So, what did I do? I tweaked it a bit and Revealed that. And Miss Patsy’s pound cake turned into Van Halen Pound Cake, courtesy of my friend Mary Lou.
Sunday, we had Mary Lou and the rest of the gang over for dinner. Naturally, Van Halen pound cake was to be for dessert. The first time I made it, someone said Van Halen pound cake is the Best Effing Pound Cake They’ve Ever Eaten. I’d have to agree, until now. Never one to leave Well Enough alone, I was thinking of ways to tweak Van Halen again, and I remembered that Shirley Corriher told me in Bakewise that I really should use some softly whipped cream in my pound cake to make it Achingly Tender and Moistly Meltingly Decadent. Who am I to say no to that, right? So, I purchased heavy cream on Saturday. When I got ready to Bake, I was assembling all my ingredients and realized that the cupboard was suffering from a dearth of white sugar. Great, says I. And then, in a twinkling, I recovered. I decided to use all the white sugar and then use light brown sugar to make up the difference. So, then, my brain went, “I’m not feeling lemon zest and lemon flavoring with the molasses note from the brown sugar.” Right then–away went the lemon zest and lemon extract, to be replaced with all vanilla extract. Y’all know I’ve been using that Sonoma Syrups Vanilla Bean Crush vanilla extract, right? Well, that stuff rocks. You can get it at King Arthur, if you want some.
I also changed up the mixing method just a bit–it’s still basically the creaming method, but go ahead and read through these steps. I was Very Pleased with the results.
Mary Lou said to call it Van Haggar Pound Cake, but that would imply that VH w/Haggar was better than VH w/Roth. I do not subscribe to this belief, even though it’s obviously Sammy singing up there. My head hurts. Anyway, here it is:
- 13 oz. cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 oz. cool butter
- 1 very gently rounded teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 oz. sugar
- 8 oz. soft brown sugar–no lumps, please
- 1 Tablespoon best quality vanilla extract
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 6 oz. half and half
- 4 oz heavy cream, very softly whipped
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter along with the salt until smooth. Add the sugars and cream on medium until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl often. This will take about 10 minutes or so.
- Add the extract and cream until all is well combined.
- Drizzle in the eggs, a tiny bit at a time, scraping between additions and beating until completely incorporated. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients and half and half alternately on low speed: dry-wet-dry-wet-dry.
- Whisk cold cream until the whisk leaves tracks and the cream begins to thicken.
- Mix in on low, folding with a spatula a couple of times to make sure that it all gets incorporated.
- Put in a well-greased and floured Bundt pan or tube pan and bake at 350F until deeply golden brown on top and firm to the touch. In my oven, this takes 1 hour and 5 minutes. Start checking at about 50 minutes and loosely tent with aluminum foil if it looks like the top is getting too brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes or so. Make sure the sides are loosened, and then Turn Out onto a rack to cool completely.
Make some. Make some now. Just do it.
This cake will make you happy. Period.
Have a lovely day.