What do you do when you wake up to find snow on the ground and snow coming down on the fourth day of spring? First, in full disclosure, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and didn't even notice the weather until well after 8 a.m.!! The weekend had been quite nice before turning a bit cooler Sunday afternoon. I don't want to bore you with the weather so will tell you what I did to entertain myself while staying inside by the hearth. I baked a cake. A trusty standby that I always have the ingredients for on hand. It always brings sweet memories of my mother and grandmother.
As you can see, the cake turned out perfectly. It is delicious! However, my sisters and I always liked it to be a little "sad"--that slight difference in texture around the top. My grandmother said this "undesirable" occurrence came about with too much activity around the oven. Her admonition to "tread softly" in the kitchen only spurred us to jump around in front of the stove when she left the room.
Nanny never quite figured out why her pound cakes were almost always sad. With The Baker and Oliver around, I could not bring myself to jump up and down on the kitchen floor while the cake was in the oven. If you choose to do so, you will be rewarded with an interesting texture. Even if you don't, I think you'll find the cake delicious.
For obvious reasons, I photographed the cake on snowflake-festooned tea towels!
Just Plain Pound Cake
1/2 pound butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp each of vanilla and almond extract
5 large eggs
Heat oven to 350F.
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Sift the flour once and add to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir on low just enough to blend.
3. Add the vanilla and almond extract and stir well. Add eggs, once at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Spoon into a well-greased and floured bundt pan.
5. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Watch well because oven temperatures differ.