Thursday, December 16, 2010

Now, why did they call it a Pound Cake??

Today was supposed to meet cousins for lunch but the freezing rain brought that to a halt. Our conversations are funny memories of relatives we have had in common ..... primarily our grandmothers who were sisters. All the women of this clan apparently were excellent cooks which seemed to have sparked a bit of rivalry .... you know, "that was very good, but mine is better" kind of thing. Aunt Lucy and Aunt Lillie made the best peach cobbler EVER in my humble opinion. BUT my Grandmother [sister Sallie],by far, was the queen of the Pound Cake. According to my Grandfather, she made about 3 per week. You see he had it toasted for breakfast every morning, not to include snacks and desserts. Now remember, this was in the 40's and 50's before Kitchen Aide stand mixers and Viking ranges. She had one of those funny green colored gas ranges with variable temperatures.

Sitting at her breakfast room table during a Mississippi vacation, we waited for the most recent baking to finish ..... nothing like the forbidden slice, still warm from the oven and a glass of cold milk. She would fain fury at cutting a hot cake .... "it ruins the moisture causing it to dry out". Mercy, one didn't last long enough to actually dry out. All the same, that morning the question was posed "Why is it called a Pound Cake?". "That's simple, all the ingredients are a one pound measure".

Since that time have noticed many many recipes for the glorious Pound Cake and not one have the ingredients measured by a pound of this and a pound of that. Perhaps you've noticed this as well.

During a Dutch Oven Outdoor Cooking demonstration, was questioned unmercifully as to what makes it rise .... there isn't any baking powder or soda..... well, that's because there's a pound of eggs in it. And yes, this can be baked over and under coals just the same way it's baked in my oven. It is soooooooooo easy.

O.K., o.k., just remember I'm using my Kitchen Aide mixer and a fluted bundt pan [oiled and floured]. Do not preheat the oven, that's correct, it goes into a COLD oven.

The "Real Thing" Pound Cake

Blend well together until creamy:
1 pound unsalted butter
1 " sugar

Add and blend in:
juice of 1 whole lemon

Add alternating beginning and ending with the flour:
1 pound Swans Down Cake flour [twice sifted]
1 " eggs [about 9 large brown ... weighted out of the shell]

Dump into Bundt or tube pan.

Place in COLD oven and turn heat to 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then, increase heat to 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
Next, increase heat to 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Next, increase heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cook on a raised rack, then place plate over cake and invert onto plate. Taa-daa and voila ...... enjoy!

Oven Note: My oven runs hot; so, have discovered the cake is near done [checked with a straw] about halfway to near completion of the 325 cycle and would be very dry and scorched if it continued to cook. You need to know your oven and/or begin checking with a straw so as not to over cook. Straw should come out clean.

Creative note: As Grand Marnier is a favorite of a friend, substituted it for lemon juice. You might at least start with 2 tablespoons and adjust to your taste. Obviously, whatever flavor you wish should work.

A time or two even added cream cheese and swirled chocolate. Am positive my Grandmother was sitting on a cloud wondering if I had lost my mind to take such liberties. But my Grandfather was probably nudging her saying something as to "leave her alone Sallie, she's having fun".

Note to my grandparents: thank you for lovingly sharing your life with me .... miss you.

So, best get busy and throw one together .... it's a Christmas present for a friend! Catch you later and Feast Ya'll !!!!!!!!!!!

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