Monday, May 17, 2010


Look at this magnificent cake that two 8th grade girlies made for our end-of-the-year cookout and dance Friday night.  These are the same two girlies who made a special cake for the 120th birthday party we had for the Eiffel Tower earlier this school year.

They have mastered fondant, in my humble opinion.
They also made this one for Friday night--

I admit that I ate a piece of cake before I ate my hamburger.  And it was délicieux.
Bravo, girlies!
Another girlie told me about a website she found and we checked it out today at lunch:

All about cakes!  And written with a sense of humor.  A great combination, n'est-ce pas?
What is there not to love about cake?  I've promised a pound cake to one of the BFF's clients.  She just sold him his first house.  That is definitely something to celebrate.  In the South, pound cake is generally the cake of choice for just about anything-- potlucks, picnics, visiting a sick friend, taking food to a friend who has lost a loved one, Sunday dinner, a gift for the preacher, etc.  Just about everyone who bakes has his/her own pound cake recipe, so there are many to choose from if you feel the need to stir one up.  By the way, it is called pound cake because the first ones were made with a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour.  Buttermilk can be substituted for regular milk.  Vanilla or almond flavoring can be used.  I've had good lemon pound cake, too, as well as chocolate.  There is no fruit or anything else added to the batter, though, in the true Southern style.  Glazes are often used.  A slice of pound cake and a hot cup of coffee... 
I've had this pound cake recipe for many years.  There was an elderly lady, Dailey, who lived near me when I was growing up in Spruce Pine.  She lived alone and sometimes, if she wasn't feeling well, I would go over and stay the night with her.  (One night I watched Helter Skelter, the made-for-TV movie about the Manson murders after she had gone to bed.  I do not think I slept a wink that night.)  Anyway, Dailey found out quickly that I love pound cake and she always had some on hand for me.  (Usually stored in the freezer... frozen pound cake is really good...)  I am so glad that I asked her to write down the recipe for me before she died.  I don't have a daughter to pass it on to and the sons aren't that interested in cooking -- yet.  Maybe someday?

**I have been chastised by a friend who reads the blog...  and rightfully so.  I thought long and hard before using Dailey's recipe for the blog exactly as she gave it to me approximately 35 years ago.  Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oil products have generated a lot of controversy.  Many health conscious people will allow nothing containing them in their diet.  Period.  They are not natural substances.  I do not even pretend to understand the science behind it all, but I believe the experts.  (I just bought a copy of On Food and Cooking:  The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and plan to read it after grading exams in June.  The above friend recommended it to me and promises that I will be able to understand it.)  Therefore, I am striking Crisco from the recipe.  For the past several years, I have used only butter when I make pound cake or cookies or scones or whatever.  But when I when was growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, Crisco was a staple in our cupboard. (And there is probably some in my own cupboard right now, way back in the back, to be perfectly honest.) If you want a quality product, use quality ingredients.  Buy the best and healthiest ingredients that you can afford in your cooking and baking.  Read labels.  And then eat your pound cake and enjoy it!!

Dailey's Pound Cake

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 c. Crisco
2 1/2 c. sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. rum flavoring
1 c. pecans, chopped

Cream the butter, Crisco and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix flour, salt and baking soda.  Add this to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk, until all is added.  Add rum flavoring and beat until smooth.
Grease and flour tube pan.  Put pecans in the bottom.  Put batter in pan by spoonfuls.  Bake one hour at 225F and one hour at 300F.  (DO NOT preheat the oven when making a pound cake.)

1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar  (do not pack)
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. rum flavoring

Put all the ingredients in a pot and cook 3 minutes, stirring.  Pour this over the cake after it is out of the pan and on the serving plate, while it is still warm.

Bon appétit, cakemakers everywhere!
Merci, Salamanzar!  

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