Monday, March 4, 2013

Pound for Pound

Do you know why Pound Cake is called Pound Cake?  My celebration of National Pound Cake Day today caused me to research just that issue.  Nope, it's not because it weighs a pound.  Nope, it's not because the denseness of it could lead some to use it as a paper weight.  It is because in traditional recipes the cake uses a whole POUND of butter.  That's right people, four sticks of butter in one cake.  Can't you just feel your arteries clogging today?

That wasn't going to stop us Gatchel's from fully celebrating the joy of pound cake.  No, if anyone was going to screw that one up it was going to be me.  The creation of my pound cake was a series of 'oops' moments.  In fact, as I hinted in yesterday's post, I originally intended to turn my pound cake into french toast tonight.  (Because it wasn't quite decadent enough already)  Needless to say, that didn't happen.  But I'm going to chalk my miscues up to a huge success because the end result of our pound cake celebration was rave reviews from the whole crowd.

I was originally going to make up the cake yesterday afternoon during the basketball game.  Again, since I was going to turn it into french toast I decided the extra sitting time could only help it out.  I opened the fridge only to discover that my carefully planned out use of my eggs for the cake had gone to heck when I whipped up some scrambly eggs for breakfast yesterday morning.  I was two eggs short for my cake.  Okay, no worries, I'd run out after the kiddos headed to bed.

Which I did.  So it was almost 9:30 last night before I started on my cake.  I pulled out my loaf pan (I was halving the recipe I found to make a 'small' loaf size of pound cake) and went to grab my cooking spray, gave it a good shake and - damn, no spray left.  *sigh*  So I pulled out some butter and greased down my pan figuring that'd be sufficient. I also greased four cups of a mini muffin tray because after all this work I knew Grant and I were going to have to sample last night.

I'm standing there beating my ingredients together trying to determine why the sugar and butter I was whipping together wasn't light and fluffy but instead liquidy and runny.  Um, that'd be because my smart self was trying to 'cream' together eggs and butter instead of butter and sugar.  Epic fail.  I went about fixing my mistake and mixing up the rest of my cake.

I get done adding the last bit of flour (my cake had sour cream in it too that I was alternating with the flour hoping to give the cake a bit of a lighter texture) and realize that this batter is a lot thicker than I anticipated and might be a bit much for my originally planned loaf pan.  I scoop out enough for my mini muffins and pour the rest of the batter into the loaf plan.  It's pretty full but I figure we're good to go.  Into the oven.

Fifteen minutes later you can hear both my stomach and Grant's growling from the smells coming out of my oven.  It was heavenly.  All that buttery goodness.  Ten minutes later I pulled the muffin pan out and noticed the cake was definitely going to need quite a bit more time.  I set the muffin pan aside to cool for a few minutes but realized I was going to have to pop those bad boys out for a taste sooner rather than later.

This is when I realized my snag.  There was no 'popping' the muffins out.  Greased or not, they were kinda stuck.  Not inedible, just get the knife out and cut them out a bit.  I began to wonder if I was going to have similar problems with my cake.  Too late, time to taste test.  At that point, I stopped caring if I had to pry the other cake out with a crow bar, it was so dang tasty it was worth it!  The mini muffins disappeared in the blink of an eye and the aroma continued to waft from my oven.

Due to the extra batter it took well over an hour for my cake to bake.  I let it cool for about 10 minutes and then pulled out my cooling rack and crossed my fingers.  It wasn't a complete disaster.  I only lost a good size chunk on the one side but thoughts of french toast were definitely a no go now.  For half a second I considered tossing the cake, running to the store in the morning to get some cooking spray and trying again but then I remembered how yummy the cake had actually been and I decided to come up with a Plan B.

A trifle seemed kind of obvious but boring.  Here it is 11pm and all I can think is "Dang, I need a cup of coffee, I'm going to be up for awhile figuring this one out."  Inspiration - coffee.  Tiramisu Pound Cake!  I even had everything I would need to whip it up.  And yes, we could have just celebrated by eating the pound cake as it was (I did save a piece for the kids to try since Grant and I already had) but I was afraid we'd be stuck with leftover pound cake all week.  It was good, but come on, it's got 4 sticks of butter in it!  And sour cream!  Geesh :-p  So instead I added coffee, chocolate, some kahlua, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and cream cheese, duh!  (Side note, the extra bonus was that this can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.  Side side note - as I write this half the tiramisu is already gone so I don't think this will be an issue)

It was a hit!  Noah is calling it "Tiramipie" (lol!) and I'm not sure that I saw it on his plate before it disappeared.  Even Kayla who is kind of hit or miss sometimes on dessert loved it.  Grant said it didn't quite live up to Baked Alaska (he has confided that he dreams about Baked Alaska) but it was really really good.  Considering the days of anxiousness over the baked alaska and the last minute whip up of this one, I'm calling it a major win.

So lessons of the day - butter is good.  Make sure you have eggs and cooking spray.  Looks are good but taste is everything. Plan B is sometimes better than Plan A.

Pound cake, consider yourself laughed at (by me during all my mistakes) and celebrated by the Gatchel crew.  Kid Kitchen tomorrow where we explore the age old question - what the heck is that orange powder on a cheese puff?  That's right - tomorrow is National Cheese Doodle Day and we're whipping up not one, but two versions of homemade cheetos in Kid Kitchen for a Taste Off. Until then...

Pound Cake Tiramisu

Side view

Nom nom nom nom nom

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