There are things in life I was better off not knowing. Like the amount of butter that goes into a pound cake, for example.
In an effort to fulfill my goal of baking All The Food, I decided to make a lemon pound cake. Of course, I brought out my new best friend, Baking by James Peterson*. I got Baking from the library but now have it at the top of my wishlist. Each section (cakes, pies, cookies, breads, and custards) starts with the basics, then goes on to things I can only dream of one day being able to create, like cream puff pastry swans. Look and be amazed.
What I really like about Baking is the combined simplicity and details in the recipes. Like, it tells you how long to stir the stuff. Honestly, I’ve never stirred anything for longer than two minutes in my life, except for trouble. The book does expect you to have tools, like a mixer, that I don’t have in my kitchen, but such things are easy to work around.
Baking always allows me to practice two of my weakest virtues: crisis management and patience. For the lemon pound cake, it went like this:
Crisis Management: The pound cake has risen to the point of slowly overflowing and dripping batter onto the bottom of the oven that is causing smoke to mildly billow all over the house? Never fear! Just scrape it out and keep going.
Patience: The recipe says the cake tastes best if you wait days to eat it? I might have nibbled just one bite, but I wrapped the rest up and waited ’til the morning to make a lemon glaze. I was somewhat astonished by my self control.
Despite the minor debacles, the cake turned out really good. I don’t know if I’ll be making a lot of pound cakes in the future (2 1/2 sticks of butter! madness!), but I’m glad to have made it once.
Realizing that eating the entire pound cake by myself might be in conflict with other of my new year goals, I invited friends to eat it over breakfast with tea.
Good food and friends? Nothing’s better.
Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
*Baking‘s recipe for pound cakes didn’t call for any lemon, only zest, so I also pulled up a recipe from Epicurious for extra help.