I have learned a few things about myself and baking:
1) I might over-mix batter because I am afraid of lumps and under-mixing
2) I might over-bake things because I am afraid of under-baking
3) I break a spoon every time
Let’s see if I can avoid doing these things while making…. POUND CAKE!!!
I had leftover buttermilk from making blue velvet cookies and googled recipes using buttermilk. There were 3 possibilities: pancakes, fried chicken, pound cake. I don’t ever cook meat and I wasn’t feeling the pancakes, so … pound cake! I have a lot of fond memories of pound cake. My mom would buy the frozen Sara Lee ones. I always thought they were called pound cakes because they were heavy like bricks that weighed a million pounds, but it turns out they are called that because in the old days you used a pound every ingredient: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, a pound of sugar. These days, we don’t make such humongous pound cakes, but that’s a pretty cool recipe if you ask me.
The Sarah Lee pound cakes were dense but soft and delicious and just kind of perfect-looking. This was my goal.
I used Ina Garten’s recipe.
Here we go! Here are most of my ingredients.
I didn’t have a loaf pan, so I greased and floured up my bundt pan. I hunted around on the internets, and it seemed to tell me that my bundt would have the same cooking time and temp. as the loaf, so I was set!
And, bearing in mind #3 on my list of Bad Baking Habits, I decided to use a giant metal spoon for all my spoon-related needs. No spoon-breaking this time!
The magic begins when you cream together the butter and the sugar. I want to smell like butter and sugar all day.
I have tried to purchase various cake/vanilla/buttercream fragrances, but I have yet to find one that I think actually smells good.
After mixing up all the ingredients, I found another great use for my giant spoon: EATING BATTER.
I had to stop eating the batter so I’d have enough to put in the bundt.
And then, I crossed my fingers. I set the timer for an hour and started eating Cheez-Its cuz I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Yes, it was about 9:20 pm, but I was waiting for Hairy to get home from the art gallery, since I didn’t know if were going to eat dinner or not before seeing “Mama” that night. As it turned out, we didn’t have time to eat dinner, and we ate hot dogs at the movie theater….
Anyway, I checked in on my pound cake when it was close to one hour, and I was a little scared to see LIQUID batter bubbling at the surface, cracking through the cake, seeping out like hot delicious buttery lava. There were still about 5 minutes left on the timer, so I figured that would settle the geological rumble inside my pound cake.
When the timer went off, I took the bundt out of the oven and let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes. The house SMELLED SO GOOOOD!
Then I popped a plate over it and flipped the whole thing upside down. I could feel the cake slide out easily with a satisfying THUD. And then I sifted powdered sugar all over the top.
It was so beautiful, I almost cried. My baby. My beautiful. My pound cake.
But we didn’t have time to taste it because it was movie time!
Unfortunately, this pound cake was a lesson in “don’t judge a book by its cover.” My pound cake was dry as a bone :(. I probably should have taken it out of the oven while it was still oozing or something. I don’t know! Sigh. I kept trying to eat a few pieces, but it just wasn’t the Sara Lee experience. Oh, Sara Lee, tell me your secrets!!!