Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cooking with Sara

The Frenchies gave me a new cookbook as a thank you gift last April after their stay with us.  Foster's Market is my favorite café here in Durham.  I even see Sara dashing around there once in a while.  The Durham location was remodeled this summer and I love the new look.  Their coffee is the best, in my humble opinion.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that I do not have any free periods before 10:45 am this year, their revenues must be falling because I cannot escape to get a cup of that wonderful, hot coffee.  Anyway, enough about my sad state of coffee affairs.  The other day, I decided to pull out the book and make something.  Being a good Southern girl, I was practically raised on pound cake and that is what Mildred and I decided to make.
If you are new to this blog, Mildred is my mama.  I named my Kitchen Aid mixer after her.  I don't have any daughters, but I informed Mildred before I had children that even if I did have girls I would not be naming them after her.  She took the news well.  One of my sisters did name a dog after her, though.
I assembled the ingredients, letting the eggs, butter, and buttermilk come to room temperature.
This is very important, according to all the bakers I know and the cookbooks I've read.  Other than the fact that they tell me to do it, I am not very curious why.  I am like that.  I don't really need long scientific explanations.
Mildred had fun creaming the butter and sugar.
Another cake making tip-- cream this stuff until it is indeed light and fluffy.  Try not to be impatient.  The butter needs air in order to make a nice soft crumb for your cake.  And for pound cake, this is important stuff.  Oh!  And don't over mix after adding the flour.  That will make the cake tough.  Another no-no.  Mix just until it is all blended.
Put it in your well-buttered and floured tube or Bundt pan and
bake it for a long time, without opening the door to peek at it.  You will have the wonderful smells filling up your house so resist the temptation to check up on it for the first hour.  Yes, that is 60 whole minutes.

You can now make the glaze and brush it on while the cake is still hot.
And voilà!  One beautiful, delicious, irresistible pound cake!
You can even share it if you want people to love you.  I took some in for my fellow language teachers so that we could have a little birthday celebration for one of us (nevermind that she is 20 years younger than me!).  I even made the crème fraîche to go with it.  That was a first for me. The tangy-ness of that offset the sweetness of the cake just a bit.  Yum.

I like my coffee with lots of cream, just in case you need to know. (And there are a couple of slices of pound cake left in the refrigerator in my classroom that I might be willing to share... hint hint.)

buttermilk pound cake with tangy buttermilk glaze
serves 10-12

3 c. sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 Tbsp. pour vanilla extract

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

buttermilk crème fraîche
makes about 2 cups
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
2 Tbsp. sour cream

**Note:  If you don't have access to or don't regularly buy buttermilk, you can make an easy substitute with milk and white vinegar or lemon juice.  For every cup of buttermilk needed, start with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and add enough milk to equal a level cup.  Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, until the mixture curdles, before using.

Preheat the oven to 325˚F.  Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.  Have all the ingredients at room temperature before you begin.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and stir to mix.  Stir the buttermilk and vanilla together in a small bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour mixture, stopping to scrape down the bowl several times and stirring just until all is incorporated.  Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Give the pan a rap on the counter to settle the batter and get rid of any air bubbles.  Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for one hour, undisturbed.  Check the cake, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes.  Run a small knife around the outer and inner edges of the pan before turning the cake out onto a baking rack set over a baking sheet to cool.

Stir together the sugar, cream, butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.  Let the glaze cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring over the warm cake.  Slice and serve warm or completely cooled with a dollop of Buttermilk Crème Fraîche, if desired.

Buttermilk Crème Fraîche
Combine the heavy cream, buttermilk, and sour cream in a pint glass jar.  Screw the lid on the jar and shake to mix.  Let sit in a cool, dark place for 2 days before refrigerating; the mixture will become thick. Crème fraîche will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Bon appétit, Foster's Market!


MPK said...

Am I too late?

MaraK said...

Pound caaaaaaaaaake! I want some!
Also. Mme E! Guess what I found!
Someone remade Starry Night... out of curly papers.
I saw it and was like "Oh gosh, Mme E needs to see this!"
So here it is!

The Sabbatical Chef said...

MPK and PV-- it's all gone! But I would make another one just for the two of you!

PV-- how beautiful is that Starry Night?? Trop beau! And I miss you. Really.