I think I’m still a kid and no I do not mean the “young-at-heart” kind of way (though I wish I did). But, in the way that I need my mommy (no, that’s not what I call her) whenever things just seem a little too difficult to handle.
Well, uhm… kid would be putting it mildly. Baby would be the correct (although harsher) term, but let’s just be kind and think of me as a kid.
So the other day, my ankle (the very ankle that had gotten sprained months back) started swelling again, making working in the kitchen kind of difficult.
If that was not enough, I get a huge bump on my head thanks to me hitting it against a real sharp edged table. How did that happen? Let’s just say that I am really clumsy.
And if even that was not enough, the icing on the cake came with what I think was a spider bite on my neck, which left a very hickey like mark on the neck and put me in a really embarrassing position. (No wonder V’s parents haven’t asked me why do I have a red patch on my skin.)
And since things like to come in multitudes (god is generous that ways), the cherry on top of the icing on top was that on cue my left wrist started paining like hell too and was swollen, making it difficult to chop, hold a phone or even type (I am using my right hand mostly now and a wrist support on the left).
And everything was just made worse by being that time of the month.
So with a swollen ankle, wrist and head and an embarrassingly placed insect/spider or whatever bite and stomach cramps, my thoughts went to my mom. And I missed her. I wanted to be pampered by her. I wanted her to smile and “baby” (yes, I said it) me.
And I also felt like having a pound cake.
Well, I have been craving a pound cake for a week now. Things had been quite busy, so I did not get around baking anything for a while now.
I missed baking. I missed that smell of a freshly baked vanilla cake.
The smell and the thought of which always reminds me of my “Mommy” (no, I really don’t call her that!).
That smell of something baking in the oven reminds me of my childhood. Of days when my brother and I would feast on my mom’s fresh out of the oven cakes that were too hot to even touch, but would still be cut into because the two of us lacked any patience.
And so even though I had every reason to be resting, I set out to make the cake. One bite and I was transported to my parents’ house. The effort (which hardly was any) was totally worth it.
I had been eyeing this recipe on Shirley’s blog for a long time now. Shirley makes lovely pound cakes, and each one better than the next. Since I knew a pound cake was what I wanted, I turned to Shirley’s site and used the recipe she had for Tish Boyle’s Luxe Pound Cake. And I have no regrets!
More than half of the cake was sent to V’s office (as part of my Office Thursday treat) and the rest was kept for us to munch. .
I had initially thought of adding in some lemon or orange zest to the batter, but I did not want to hide the vanilla and almond flavors with anything (this time). I had also planned to grill the cake slices and serve it with some macerated strawberries but nothing of that sort happened. The cake is just perfect as is- maybe a cup of tea with it won’t hurt, but if you are having one of those blah days where simple yet elegant is all you want- this cake will definitely hit all the right notes for you.
Since it has 7 eggs in it, keep in mind it is a rich cake. Also keep in mind that even though it will be difficult to keep your hands off it as soon as it is baked, what with the vanilla and almond flavor hovering all around your house, do wait for the cake to cool to room temperature before turning it out of the pan. If you are not patient, like I was not, the cake will tear like it did for me and hence the less than perfect picture of the whole cake. Of course, once cut into and in your mouth you would hardly care what tore and what did not, but if you are going for the perfect look- just be sure to curb your cravings for a few additional minutes.
TISH BOYLE’S LUXE POUND CAKE
Adapted from here
Makes 2 large loaves, or 3 mini loaves, or one bundt cake
- 342g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 226 g unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
- 375 g caster sugar
- 7 eggs (358g)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 240 ml heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 160 C/320 F.
- Grease baking pan well. I used a 10 inch bundt cake pan, you could also use loaf pans- the recipe as Shirley mentions yields 3 mini loaves.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, on low-medium speed beat the butter for a few seconds till it becomes creamy. Add in the caster sugar in three separate additions, making sure the sugar is incorporated well before adding in more. Beat till the butter sugar mixture is creamy and pale.
- Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each well into the butter-sugar mixture before adding the next.
- Add in vanilla and almond extracts
- With a rubber spatula add the flour mix in three portions, alternating each with a portion of heavy cream. Finish with the flour, and combine everything well, folding gently.
- Pour batter into prepared/lined pound cake pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean. It took me about an hour to bake the cake.
- Cool cake to room temperature. Patience is required for this step especially, if you decide to use a bundt cake pan. If the cake is still warm when you try to remove it from the pan, it will break the way it did in my case. I know the cake will smell and look tempting, calling out to you to dive in, but be patient and let it cool to room temperature before carefully turning out the cake from the baking pan.
- Eat and enjoy!