Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Morning

It's 3:47 Christmas morning. My pound cake has been in the oven for a little over 30 minutes and I think I'm sleep walking or sleep blogging. The cake is a do-over. When the efficient, energetic me got in yesterday after two rounds at Target, a trip to the bank and Home Depot after a 5 a.m. rise to make dressing and sweet potato pie after having stood on my feet for four hours welcoming Christmas shoppers the night before -- I set the oven to 200 degrees. ( How's that for Faulkneresque?) Two hours later, I wondered why I didn't smell cake throughout the house. After adjusting the temp, it still didn't come out right. Since it was for someone else's Christmas dinner, I had to make it again.

This is the most requested thing I make. It's not baked crack like Cakeman Raven's red velvet cake in Brooklyn, but it is the best damn pound cake I've ever had. It is unbelievably moist with this crust that just gets better the next day. I thought about getting the new Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt pan for it, but it would ruin the crust to serve it upside down. I might get the pan anyway. Who am I kidding? Of course I'm getting the pan. I haven't made a Bundt cake since high school.

I digress. People have tried to recreate my pound cake because I won't give out the recipe. The funny thing is, I'm not even a big pound cake fan. Give me a cake with some icing. I only bake this cake for others.

I sit here now half dazed, not quite sleepy enough to go back to bed and not awake enough to really cook anything else. The last time I tried to cook in this state, I got a little too careless with my knife skills. I know the next items on the docket should be the red velvet cupcakes and dinner rolls, but they will have to wait. I think I'll watch A Christmas Story.

I haven't completely figured out my own Christmas menu. I have a Cornish hen and lots of fresh veggies: Brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, beets and butternut squash. I'm not quite sure about what I want to eat or how to prepare it.

Back to the cake:

I cream the butter and sugar forever. I use the time to gather the other ingredients and prep the pan.

Each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.

This is a no-holds-barred pound cake. Look at how thick the batter is! I've seen recipes that have called for cake flour instead of AP. If you want a lighter cake, make a different type. This is one tradition I will not break.

The batter is four pounds! It won't move unless you move it.

Look at the top.

Heaven in your mouth!
Tools of the trade: