Ok, so I lied. I lied about a couple of things. First, in my post titled Mother’s Milk, I stated that I would not bake another thing until I had perfected the very first recipe in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum’s. Anyone who enjoyed reading about Kevin’s exploits pitting cherries knows that vow of baking celibacy lasted less than a week. Who am I? Kristen Stewart?
In the next Pound Cake post, I mentioned that one of you had suggested I just ditch the “original recipe” that turned out dry and flavorless and try another. I made a big grandstandy statement about wanting to complete this biblical journey like following a star to a manger in Bethlehem. What? Did I just compare myself to a wise man? Not wise.
Perhaps the lesson I’ve learned is not to put such rigid limitations on creative endeavors, but as I’ve noted from Day One of the Shawnologue: rigidity is a baker’s best friend. And really, who messes with something called The Cake BIBLE?
Well, cue the shower for frogs because as I mentioned I lied, cheated, and strayed! I went back to my trusted teacher Martha Stewart to read her doctrine on The Mother Of All Cakes. I watched her make one and picked up a few techniques that might improve my results. She used cake flour and sifted it twice. Her butter looked even softer than what I generally consider to be softened butter, and I liked the way she spooned the flour into the butter mixture.
Martha has a couple of Pound Cake recipes: one very simple one (Classic Pound Cake) and one slightly more complicated (confusingly, also called Classic Pound Cake). I actually used the first recipe, while watching the video of her making the second. (Woah, what is this jazz? When I start breaking rules, even self-imposed ones, I really start breaking rules!)
I’m pleased to report, they were better. Nice texture, buttery flavor, solid shape. On a scale of one to Sara Lee, I’d give it a solid seven. But I’ll also tell you that my little dalliance with Martha only made me more committed to Rose and her Cake Bible (hear that Robert Pattinson?) Think of it like the Amish tradition of Rumspringa. I needed to get out there and enjoy all the worldly pleasures of the modern Pound Cake before I could truly appreciate what the Bible teaches me about Pound Cake.
So, it’s back at Recipe 01:01 to be followed chapter and verse. This time though I will approach the recipe with a better understanding of what it takes to make The Mother Of All Cakes and I will treat the cake with all the respect she deserves. By eating her. (See that? What I did there? It was a vampire thing)
Vampire Weekend - Diane Young