Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let them eat cake!


Or so I said, which was quickly followed by laughing, snickering and someone handing me a mixer.



So much for being the QUEEN, I was now the baker. When I said for dinner "Let them eat cake." I was thinking more along the lines of a frozen pizza...instead I was now making pound cake. Not just any pound cake, but my sour cream pound cake AND I was baking it in my grandmother's tube pan. Anytime I use any of her bakery items I just feel good all over.

My grandmother was an incredible cook, and (Damnit! I am trying to post this blog and my business partner who lives in New Zealand is at some conference and is taking photos of New Zealand made sweaters of New Zealand spun wool. This is soooo not fair!)

Ahem...where was I? Oh grandmother was an incredible cook and always liked to eat her dessert before her dinner. When asked why she would say "It's my favorite part of the meal." Hey, who am I to argue with such wisdom!

The thing I miss so much was not the complexity of her deserts....oh she could sling them out when necessary...but my favorites where her simple deserts. Even a bowl of sliced up strawberries with fresh milk and a sprinkling of sugar was such a treat!

These days I grab my grandmothers tube pan and make up a traditional pound cake that would make her proud. I love pound cake because of its simplicity, but also because of it's diversity. You can mix up the flavorings for vanilla, almond, lemon, lime, orange or whatever your heart desires. Extracts are nice to have. But if I am going to go with lemon, the juice of one and the zest of two lemons works wonders.

This recipe also allows you to drop in an unlimited list of dry goodies to customize your cake anyway you like;
Chocolate chips
Dried Cherries
Blueberry's (Blueberry and lemon would be great!)
Swirl in some preserves such as strawberry, raspberry...whatever tickles your fancy.
Icing or glaze can also be used.

This is a heavy solid cake, so it can take a bit of punishment with add- ins.

So here is the basic recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray bundt or tube pan with cooking spray like Pam.

1/2 pound of salted butter at room temperature
3 cups of sugar

Cream butter in mixer and add one cup of sugar at a time till fluffy.

1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

(They do not call this pound cake for nothing!)

Add salt and continue to beat on medium adding in one egg at a time.

2 tsp of almond extract, or vanilla, or both, or none or add juice of one lemon and zest of two lemons. This is when you get to be creative with flavors.

Beat until mixture is creamy and almost fluffy.

Put 3 cups of flour into a bowl and mix in 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Set aside.
Measure out one cup of sour cream.

Pour one cup of flour into egg/butter mixture and beat on medium low. Add in half the sour cream, blend, add second cup of flour, then second half of sour cream and then final cup of flour. Mix until all flour is absorbed and there are no lumps. This is also when you can mix in your add-ins such as dried fruits, nuts, etc.

Going into the oven...

Pour batter in to greased tube or bundt pan and even mixture out. Bake at 350 f for one hour to one and a half hours (depends on your pan, your oven, you altitude.) Start to check it at the one hour mark. Mine works best at 1 hour and 10 minutes.


After knife comes out of cake clean, set out to cool for about 25 min. Take knife and clean sides of cake from sides of pan and don't forget the middle too!

Flip cake out onto plate, then flip it again in hands and turn it so the baked side is up. Wa-la! A wonderful pound cake. Sounds simple eh? Well it is... and just how I like it. My preference is either almond or lemon. No icing, no other fillings....just plain Jane pound cake.

I would honestly share with all of you, but...this cake is lucky to last a single night in my house.

So speaking of experimenting with flavors and having fun cooking up something new and exciting out of something so simple and easy.

Allison over at Epically Epic Soaps has this deal where you can custom make your own lotion, soap or roll on fragrance from a huge list of oils she has available. The super fun part is that there is no limit on what you can mix together. Talk about fun! And there are no dirty dishes left over after you get done experimenting.

Well I had been experimenting with Epics lotions and a few of the roll on's for months. It was a lot of fun. I liked everything I had her mix together for me, some more than others, but never a mission fail. She has admitted to having just as much fun in the process. For only $6.50 a tin of lotion it was certainly worth the gamble.

Then one day I noticed she had added violet to the list. I am not a huge floral person, but I do love violet. And I was reminded of those violet candies you can get in France.
I was also a big fan of her vanilla bean soap. I also saw blueberry on the list and somehow I came up with a mix of vanilla, violet and blueberry. A friend of mine speaks French so we came up with a name of bleuets a la vanille violette. Well as accurate as that name is which just means blueberry vanilla violets, NOT the easiest for customers. Apparently Allison took a liking to it as well and decided to rename it to Blue Bell Knoll (much easier to pronounce and remember) and add it to her regular line of goodies. I was so HONORED, THRILLED and EXCITED. I could just point folks to the scent we created and tell them to go for it. This is very new and recent news, so if you have not visited Epically Epic Soaps in a while, you must! And if you want it in a custom soap, I do believe you can order 3 bars for $12.00. I have had it in the soap, and trust me....they are wonderful!

I also have the roll on fragrance and it too is just wonderful. Perfect to stick in your purse. I love it! You smell good enough to nibble on with this one. It is soft, a bit sweet with a lovely light fragrance of violets. This one is a smooth ride...just lovely. It will be a signature scent for me as long as Allison is willing to produce it.

Have I also mentioned that Allison is an artist as well. She took a break from the art world to try a new art...and I must say that whatever Allison sets her mind on doing, she does it very well.

Seriously hankering for some blueberry pie now.


  1. Okay, that cake sounds SO good! I'm going to have to add it to my list of things to try!

  2. Thank you!! Blue Bell Knoll is just one of the many epically amazing fragrances you came up with. You'll see more of them in my shop soon. Maybe a pound cake fragrance next...

  3. Oh I am SO going to try that there recipe!!

  4. My daughter loves her Blue Bell Knoll.
    We all enjoy the fragrance and have become fans of soaps from both Dancing Mooney and Epically Epic Soap Co..

  5. That pound cake looks to die for! I think I'll whip it up for my husband, who would be infinitely grateful if I did that! I love your grandmother's pan, too...such beautiful simplicity!