Saturday, 26 December 2009

1.) The Man Catcher - Sour Cream Pound Cake

Dear Melissa Gray, Thank you for making a cake book for people who want to bake cakes, know why they are doing things and like to laugh out loud while reading their recipes. You are truly an inspiration and I hope not to make too many of your cakes collapse.

Sincerely, one happily surprised new cake-baker.

"All Cakes Considered" is quickly going to become my cake bible. Think the style of Alton Brown but quirkily different. Thank you Roo for the book that's going to dictate La Boulangerie's menu in the coming months.

The book suggests working from the beginning of the book and moving towards the back. Recipes supposedly get harder as the book progresses. Well, I'll start in the beginning with this beautiful lemon pound cake, but no guarantees I'm making the sweet potato cake that comes next!

This cake, cake 1 for those of you keeping score, is called the Man Catcher - Sour Cream Pound Cake. It's a simple combination of normal cake ingredients in the normal order (cream butter and sugar, add eggs, add dry ingredients and sour cream, then lemon, orange and vanilla extracts). I was however in a post-Christmas daze when I started this recipe and said to myself, "Self, mix together all the dry ingredients while your butter softens - brilliant!"

Not all the dry ingredients should be mixed together though - notice when I said "cream butter
and sugar" . . . ? Thought not. Me neither. I also missed the part about adding the other dry ingredients and sour cream intermittently.

I shooed my family out of the kitchen and didn't admit my mistake. I decided to throw everything into the mixing bowl and to hope for the best. After all, it's just cake one - if it falls apart or explode, it's ok! There're 51 more cakes to come.
(You know the scariest part? I had read the recipe first! I'm telling you - the post-Christmas daze is a dangerous thing).

Happily, the cake turned out well anyway. At least, it looks like pound cake is very forgiving. The sugar seems to have dissolved (this is why one creams butter and sugar before adding the other items) and my poor little hand mixer suffered through the overload of dry ingredients before I thought to add the sour cream to loosen the batter up a little. Unfortunately, everyone is still full from lunch, so this cake is currently untasted.

As soon as Afternoonsies are served (tea anyone?), we'll see if this Man Catcher is all it's cracked up to be!

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