Monday, October 21, 2013

Back to Basics

I am now in my second year of graduate school and enrolled in a night class entitled "Beowulf and Film." This night class requires something I am more than capable and happy to do. It requires snacks. A couple weeks ago I made this delicious treat!
There ain't nothing wrong with a good ole pound cake. I try to use some Barefoot wisdom every time I cook. This time around, I thought about Back to the Basics and really tried to focus on updating a classic recipe. My pound cake here is drizzled with an orange glaze which takes it from basic blah to bah-zing.

The recipe for the pound cake is:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
As the standard goes with many cakes, cream the butter and shortening first, adding the sugar into the bowl. Next, add each egg, allowing them to be incorporated one at a time into the batter. (You can mix all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl) Finally, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and alternate with the milk. For the pans, use either oil or butter and cover with flour for easy release after baking. (I got a bundt and tube pan out of one recipe.) Bake for 1-11/2 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool a bit, but this isn't one of those times you have to agonizingly wait for a taste test! The glaze can be applied while the cake is still warm.

The glaze is simple:
The juice of one orange
Maybe a TBSP of orange zest
Powdered sugar 1 or more cups (to desired translucent or opaque consistency)
Note: You could use lemon, lime, orange--whatever you like really. 

With the holidays approaching quickly, I will let you in on a little secret...
If you wrap the tube cake up in parchment paper, tie ribbon or twine around it and make a tag, you have an instant (and professional looking) gift! 

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