Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The "go to" cake

I like to bake, but I really do not like the children's help in the kitchen. I sometimes think it's because I'm not much of a baker, so I get easily overwhelmed by all the little hands. It could be that when we're baking, I hear "Mama!" an extra 300 times in that day. Perhaps it's the fact that not one of the children notices when someone else is talking, so they all feel completely comfortable talking over one another. Whatever the reason, I find it most pleasant to bake when the children are all already in bed, when I've already been working for 13 hours, when I really ought to be getting ready for bed, when the kitchen is already clean, and when I'm already dog tired.

Naturally, I do not do much adventurous baking at that point in the day. That's when it's time to bake Grandmother Barclay's lemon pound cake with the slight modification implemented by Jason. It turns out great every time, even if my eyes are crossing as I mix it up. Add a little blueberry syrup, and you've got a fancy dessert. Toss it on a saucer beside some coffee, and you have a treat for a friend who drops by. You can substitute 1 cup of cocoa powder for one of the cups of flour, add a little cinnamon and leave out the lemon, and you have an awesome chocolate pound cake. You can make two loaves or a large bundt cake. It freezes well, so you can have a loaf on hand for a sudden potluck invitation. It really is quite a versatile little cake. Enjoy!

3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 C sugar (plus some to sugar the pan)
1 C butter (plus some to butter the pan)
1 T lemon juice
6 eggs, separated
1 C buttermilk (or soured milk)

Preheat oven to 325. Mix flour, salt, and soda. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and lemon juice to butter mixture. Add milk and flour, alternating, to butter mixture. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, or until done.

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