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Savage Mountain Pound Cake

This slightly spicy pound cake comes from Mark Sohn's wonderful "Hearty Country Cooking," a 1996 James Beard Award nominee. The use of confectioners' sugar instead of granulated gives this pound cake an especially fine texture. The recipe is easily halved.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk

Place the oven rack at the upper middle level and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 9-by-4-by-2-inch loaf pans and cut two pieces of parchment paper to measure 8 by 15 inches. Line the pans with the parchment, and grease and flour the parchment as well.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In a second large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the milk and the flour mixture alternately, starting and ending with dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the pans and level it with a spatula. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes. After 1 hour, check for doneness -- if a toothpick inserted in the center of each pan emerges clean, the cakes are done. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the cakes from the pans by pulling on the parchment overlaps. Cool for 2 hours before cutting and serving. Makes 20 servings.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

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