A few weeks ago, I posted a story on Metrovino’s Parmesan Pound Cake (Portland, Oregon), which I hope you had a chance to read. It’s all about my adventures with this extraordinary cake (the creation of Metrovino Executive Chef Gregory Denton and Chef de Cuisine Gabrielle Quiñónez), both in the restaurant and in the OtherWorldly testing kitchen.
In that post, I mentioned that I tested the recipe three times and made only minor changes to assist the home cook to get the best results possible. I also cautioned to not expect a light cake. The original cake is dense and moist, with an intriguing and appealing texture. Here’s what a reader of the previous post said about it: “Hi. I love you. I just had this for the first time last week at Metrovino and I LOOOOOOOVE it. Thanks for posting!” So you see, I am not alone in my love for this cake. You really must try it.
Nevertheless, I adore a light butter cake and could not resist the temptation to rework the original recipe to meet this desire. The result is spectacular. I could make this cake every week and partake of it shamelessly every day with afternoon tea. It keeps remarkably well at room temperature if well wrapped and improves in flavor from day to day.
I don’t think it has ever made it beyond day three here though. If I don’t hide it in a cupboard, I end up “snacking” on it whenever I breeze through the kitchen. No willpower whatsoever when this cake in on hand. So if you’re dieting, well, you really must try this Northwest Early Spring Farro & Lentil Salad instead.
LunaCafe’s Heavenly Parmesan Sour Cream Pound Cake
This is one of the most delectable butter cakes in my repertoire. It’s unlikely that anyone will detect the parmesan if not told in advance of its presence. It adds an extra something though that is irresistible (umami), and yes, possibly addictive.
There is no reason why you couldn’t finish this cake with an icing of your choice, but I prefer it served simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh fruit, this fruit sauce, this fruit sauce, or marmellata, and perhaps a dollop of whipped cream. I leave these details up to you.
shortening and flour for the pan
2½ cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
4 ounces very finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (½ pound) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted (about 4¾ cups sifted)
4 large eggs, cool room temperature, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream, cool room temperature
powdered sugar in a shaker
fresh fruit, optional
fruit sauce or marmellata, optional
lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
- Coat the bottom and sides of a 12-cup capacity bundt pan with shortening. Dust generously with all-purpose flour, shake to distribute, and then tap out the excess. (Or simply coat evenly with and oil-flour baking spray.)
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, Parmesan, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and medium speed, cream the butter briefly until smooth.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Then cream on medium speed for 5 FULL minutes, until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.
- With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the eggs, tablespoon by tablespoon. If the mixture begins to curdle, stop adding the eggs and increase the speed until batter is again creamy. Then decrease the speed and resume adding the eggs. Continue to cream, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times, until the mixture appears fluffy white, velvety, and increased in volume, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, stir in ¼ of the flour mixture. Then add 1/3 of the sour cream, stirring until blended. Repeat the procedure, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with the final addition of flour.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a flexible rubber spatula. Tap the pan down hard on the counter to release any air pockets.
- Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
- Gently tip and tap the pan to release the cake. Place the rack on top of the cake and invert. Now the cake is right-side-up. Cool completely.
- To serve. Position cake on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into thin slices to serve, allowing two to three thin slices per serving.
- If desired, garnish each serving with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or marmellata and whipped cream.