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Cooking with that old time long lost recipe

April 4, 2011

There’s just something about Fine Cooking. It draws me into its pages and makes me want to cook whatever they’re cooking, even simple things like poundcake. There was a full article dedicated to the hows and whys of poundcake this month. Yes, poundcake. How often do you think about poundcake? Or do you have a strong urge to make poundcake? Even if you have a strong urge to eat poundcake, there’s a good chance you might just buy a Sara Lee poundcake, or one from your local grocery store’s bakery. Maybe you just want a surface for a spoonful of strawberry love. Or maybe you are just going to cube it up and put it in a trifle. Or, maybe, just maybe, you want to pour pink fondant over it and turn it into an edible bar of soap. (It happens.)

But no. I had none of those specific plans. I just wanted that poundcake.

I read the article, and the companion article about loaf pans and the relative pros & cons of each type. I used my one loafpan that had the specific dimensions called for – my Pyrex loaf pan. The article said it may cook a little unevenly, so I decided to start checking it early.


I got out my toothpicks. I stabbed that sucker like a pincushion, everywhere but the crack, as instructed. It came out clean. I set it on my rack to cool. It smelled awesome. I waited.

It cooled a bit, I ran a knife around the edge, and turned it out of the pan and onto my rack, intending to flip it right back over to continuing cooling right on the rack. But, wait!!!

What is that yellow goo on my counter??

That would be cake batter. Oozing from the crack in the top of the cake. Stinkin’ lying toothpick!!!! At least the whole cake didn’t fall apart. I had that going for me.

So, I did the same thing I attempted long ago with the apple bread. I put the cake back in the pan and put it back in the oven for 20 minutes. Before I removed it, I stuck the lying liar toothpick right into the crack. It came out with just a few moist crumbs.

It cooled. I waited. I could wait no more. I sliced a thin slice off the end.

HOLY WOW! Poundcake!! Who knew?? It was crazy delicious. Buttery, rich and not too sweet. The texture was not heavy or dense, but not insubstantial either. And yes, I still had some of those summer strawberries in the freezer so I served some up with strawberries too, although it really didn’t need it.


Although, if you look really close at the top center of this cake…


…you can see where it is a little bit gummy and just not quite right. Ooops. A little strawberry spooned over a slice and nobody will ever notice right?

And the moral of the story? Don’t be so dang sure about that toothpick. But do be sure about poundcake.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 9:02 pm

    I love pound cake; that richer density compared to regular cake is heaven. Are you sure you don’t live at altitude…we get a ‘crack’ all the time. Sometimes a sinkhole. I always have fresh fruit just in case and right now I would trade you a Reuben for a slice. Deal?

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 4, 2011 9:08 pm

      According to the Fine Cooking article, you are supposed to get a crack at any altitude, even down here in the Connecticut River Valley.

      Ohh, I like the idea of your trade!! I made Reubens last week too but it wasn’t from my own homemade corned beef. That looked amazing.

  2. April 4, 2011 9:03 pm

    I love fine cooking too! It’s hard to resist those kinds of magazines! This looks divine!

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 4, 2011 9:10 pm

      It really is a beautiful magazine. And I love how it is just about cooking – not about traveling to places I’ll probably never go or about redecorating your kitchen or exercising. Just cooking. Love it!

      Try the poundcake – it was awesome, even with the leak! πŸ™‚

  3. April 5, 2011 8:12 am

    Isn’t it funny how imprecise all this can be? You followed everything to the letter and the whole thing still was a little funky. But at least you know how to fix it, Jennifer. A lot of people would have just thrown in the towel. Do you know Rose Levy Berenbaum’s trick of using an instant-read meat thermometer to take the temperature inside the cake? Very fussy, but it sometimes helps.

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 10:47 am

      That’s Alton Brown’s trick too and yes, I need to start doing that!! Although I’ll probably stick the probe in the wrong spot. πŸ˜‰

  4. April 5, 2011 8:16 am

    So those damn lying toothpicks were at it again. Good save Jennifer.

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 10:47 am

      Strawberries can cover all kinds of sins!

  5. April 5, 2011 10:31 am

    I have your toothpicks friends and relations at my place.. they are lying little sods too unfortunately.

    They have been the source of my former fear of cake baking and it was only resolved once I found a cake recipe good enough to take on the toothpicks and win.

    Actually I do think that the toothpicks are in cahoots with my old oven, it’s getting lazy and not wanting to heat the oven space evenly so like you I’m resorting to the multi-hole-toothpick test to make certain that I’m not being duped.

    Like you I have mixed success, so you have my complete and utter sympathy… pass the strawberry sauce and we will master the “cover up” together LOL

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 10:49 am

      Thanks for the support, Kiwi! Glad it’s not just me and my toothpicks and my oven! I do need a new oven thermometer so I can find out if it is doing its job correctly. I have this bad habit of buying them, knocking them off their pegs while the oven is still hot, forgetting about them on the oven floor, and not fishing them back out until the poor thing is so warped and toasted you can’t possibly read it.

  6. April 5, 2011 2:01 pm

    GAH/YES. That damn little bit o’ gumminess at the top kills me! But I’ll still eat it.

    Your house must smell wonderful all the time, Jennifer. We don’t need no stinkin’ Yankee Candles.

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 9:27 pm

      Hey, you had that cookie smell going at your place too! Mmmm, butter and sugar and vanilla… best smells ever! And you can’t eat a candle. πŸ™‚

  7. April 5, 2011 4:47 pm

    I’m thinking it is a good thing it isn’t a fitness conference we are going to this summer with all the baking you’ve been doing and pushing lately! πŸ˜‰

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 9:32 pm

      Maybe we SHOULD be going to a fitness conference. I’ve noticed the sweet recipes seem to be bigger hits among the commentariat (to steal a term from Tom & Lorenzo) here. You’re all part of this! Bwah ha ha!

  8. LeighG permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:22 pm

    It’s been years since I’ve had pound cake! My grandmother used to make a vanilla/orange frosting for the top of hers… just a thin layer…. oh yum!

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      April 5, 2011 9:32 pm

      Mmmm, sounds tasty!

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