1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz./178g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (scrape out beans for use in recipe)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Lightly grease an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, preferably glass, and dust with flour.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until blended.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and scraped vanilla beans from the split vanilla bean on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until just blended.
Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until both are just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream, then sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and tap gently on the counter to even out and settle the ingredients. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Place the cake on one of its sides and continue cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If serving cake at room temperature (cool, not warm), sprinkle top of cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Makes 8-10 servings.
Date: March 20, 2010