Saturday, July 19, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue

The old adage "Patience is a virture" is so true in life, particularly when you are cooking. My blog is subtitled Success and Failure in the Kitchen and today's efforts would certainly fall in the latter category.

I bought some plump local blueberries yesterday and pondered what to do with them. I decided on a pound cake (more like 5 pound cake) recipe from one of my favorite old cookbooks, The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzan. It is filled with vegetarian recipes and includes a number of delicious dessert choices. I have made the following pound cake once or twice before but today I decided to adapt it by adding lemon zest and blueberries to the mix.
This is a project where a large stand mixer is almost a requirement. The cake mix becomes so voluminous as it is beaten through the various stages that it almost oozes out over the bowl. It is quite satisfying to make this particular cake for that very reason. This however is where I made an egregious error. I beat everything with the mixer instead of by hand as directed. I put my cake batter into my prepared bundt pan all the time wondering if it was all going to fit. It did, coming right to the very edge of the pan.I put it in the oven at 350 degrees, set the timer for one hour and went off to putter around the house. Approximately 20 minutes later I started smelling smoke and wondered who was barbecuing outside so early in the day. I wandered back into the kitchen, only to see in horror, smoke pouring out of the back burner. I cautiously opened up the oven door to see a small bonfire burning at the bottom of the oven where big globs of batter were spilling over from the cake pan above and burning away. Quickly I turned off the oven, hoping and praying I wouldn't have to call my colleagues from Fire Station 2 to make a house call, and waited for the flames to die down. I removed the cake, scraped out the bottom of the oven well then turned the oven back on and returned the cake with a cookie sheet safely placed underneath.

The cake was done after another 20 minutes with no more disasters.....or so I thought. Once out of the oven I immediately turned the bundt pan over onto a cooling rack and started shaking at the pan to release the cake. Why oh why didn't I heed the directions which clearly stated "wait 10 minutes before taking cake from pan?? The results below speak for themselves my dear readers.
Oh well, the bright side is the cake tastes fantastic. Okay so it certainly won't find itself on the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine but there were a couple of salvageable hunks I was able to cut off and share with my Mother-In-Law and Gladys and her family and The Husband doesn't really care one way or the other what it looks like, as long as it doesn't contain mushrooms!

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
(Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzan)
1 pound butter
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract or lemon extract
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups blueberries
zest from one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a full sized bundt pan.
Cream together butter and sugar with an electric stand mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Remove from mixer and add sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk and vanilla combined, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly WITH A WOODEN SPOON just enough to blend without excess beating. Add blueberries and lemon zest and mix until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake in oven (with a sheet pan on lower shelf to catch any drips - (PLEASE HEED MY WARNING ON THIS ONE!) Bake for one hour or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out dry. Cool cake for 10 minutes in pan (HEED MY WARNING ON THIS TOO!) before turning out onto a plate. Cool completely before slicing.

1 comment:

Whack Patti said...

"I bought the some plump local blueberries yesterday..." Didja (sic) now? Didja(sic)bought the some plump local blueberries? The cake made with the some plump local blueberries was fantastic!