I love cooking and this passion for all things culinary reveals itself in my writing. My novel Act of Grace is full of food, particularly pastries and cakes. On the page there are descriptions of tarts, pies and a cornucopia of cakes. Each bake good has its own meaning in the story, if only to convey to the reader the idea that there can be sweetness, joy and hope even in the darkest time of our lives.
One of my favorite cakes to bake and eat is the pound cake. Now, many folks consider the pound cake to be an ordinary kind of bake good. The kind of cake you bake if you don’t have a lot of time or fancy ingredients, Glance at any number of recipes and all you will see as a list of ingredients is a pound each (more or less ) of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. However sometimes simple foods are the most beautiful kinds of foods because they provides the foundation for innovation.
Pound cake batter can be the perfect blank canvas upon which an imaginative cook can demonstrate their culinary expertise. A well made pound cake can be stunning and in my novel, the protagonist Grace gets to describe such a cake. Grace's pound cake (made by a gifted aunt) is beautiful; however, it's not just a simple cake because she will come to realize that it symbolizes the beginning of her heroine’s journey.
Below is my favorite pound cake recipe. Please don't feel that you have to leave your pound cake this naked, take the time to make a nice glaze or make/ buy some good ice cream, melt some chocolate or cut up some ripe fruit to go with it.
· 1-1/2 cups butter
· 6 eggs
· 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
· 3 cups sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees
1. Allow butter, eggs, and sour cream to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Make sure the butter is soft. Meanwhile, grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda; set aside.
3. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter with a stand mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually( and I do mean gradually) add sugar, beating about 10 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to egg mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition until just combined. Spread batter in the prepared pan.
5. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 1-1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool thoroughly on a wire rack. If you like, garnish