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Pound Cake

Quatre Quarts

Weight-of-an-egg Cake

Victoria Sponge

Ingredients:
1lb butter (four sticks)
1lb sugar (2¼ cups)
1lb eggs (eight US large)
1lb self-raising flour (3½ cups)

USDA large eggs weigh 24oz to the dozen—eight eggs to the pound. In Fannie Farmer's time eggs must have been smaller as she specifies ten eggs to the pound. Two US large eggs are sufficient for one 8'' 20cm diameter round cake tin; five eggs suffice for two 20cm square tins; eight eggs (US large, 24oz/doz) gives you a "pound cake". If you don't have a balance scale, you can first weigh your eggs, then equal weights of the other ingredients, or allow a generous ½ cup of sugar, one stick of butter, and a scant cup of flour for every two large eggs.

Your ingredients should be at room temperature; oven pre-heated to 350°F 180°C; tins buttered and floured.

Flavour, if the fancy takes you, with cocoa, orange or lemon (use the zest and a little juice).

If you have a balance scale, place your eggs on one side of the balance. Weigh butter and sugar, each to balance the weight of the eggs. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth, light, and creamy (or use a food processor to achieve the same effect).

To serve as a Victoria Sponge Sandwich, make two identical cakes. Spread the top of one cake with strawberry or raspberry jam; cover this with a layer of whipped cream. Place the other cake on top and dust the whole with confectioner's (icing) sugar.

Weigh flour to balance the eggs, then break the eggs, one-by-one, into the creamed butter and sugar, mixing each until incorporated. Finally, sift the flour onto the mixture and fold in gently.

Bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes. The cake is done when the top surface springs back after being gently pressed with your finger-tip.

Turn onto cake racks to cool.

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