As directed in the recipe, the butter and eggs should be the first ingredients prepared so they have a chance to stand at room temperature and lose their chill while the oven heats, the loaf pan is greased and floured and the other ingredients are measured. Leftover cake will keep reasonably well for up to 3 days if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, plus extra for greasing pan
- 3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) cake flour, plus extra for dusting loaf pan
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and place in the bowl of a standing mixer; let stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes to soften slightly (butter should reach no more than 60 degrees F). Using a dinner fork, beat the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup until combined. Let the egg mixture stand at room temperature until ready to use.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust pan liberally with flour and knock out excess.
In a standing mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat the butter and salt at medium-high speed until shiny, smooth, and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium; with the mixer running, gradually pour in the sugar (this should take about 60 seconds). Once all sugar is added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is fluffy and almost white in color, 5 to 8 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl once. With the mixer running at medium speed, gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream; this should take 60 to 90 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of bowl; beat mixture at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes (mixture may look slightly broken). Remove bowl from the mixer; scrape bottom and sides.
In 3 additions, sift the flour over the butter/egg mixture; after each addition, fold gently with a rubber spatula until combined. Scrape along bottom of bowl to ensure that batter is homogenous.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 70 to 80 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; invert cake onto wire rack, then turn the cake right-side up. Cool cake on the rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice and serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.
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