Pound cake

Serves 8-10

This American cake is buttery and sweet, with a top that has a little crunch. While it's baking, your kitchen will fill with the most tantalising smell.

375g/12oz soft unsalted butter
420g/14oz plain flour
tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
675g/24oz caster sugar
6 large eggs
250ml/8fl oz milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Grease generously a 10in cake tin and line with parchment paper.

Place the butter into an electric mixer and beat until pale and light. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl and set aside. Gradually add the sugar to the creamed butter a little bit at a time, scraping down the sides with a spatula as you go. Continue to beat until you get a shiny, smooth mixture. This should take approximately 3 minutes.

Next, add the eggs one at a time. Then reduce the speed of the beater to low and add the flour mix and milk in three alternate batches, scraping down the sides after each addition. Once all the flour has been added, beat for a minute more.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Tap the bottom firmly on the kitchen counter to ensure the batter is evenly distributed and place in the hot oven.

Test by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean it is ready. It should take about an hour and 15 minutes in total. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before turning out and slicing.

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