12/20/2014 by syrbal-labrys
Remember that cake I said I had to bake? I made half a day of it, between the preparation and the baking of our Yule Cake. My Manchild gets amused every time he hears anyone asking how to make a pound cake. “Isn’t it there in the name” he asks.
And yes, it really is, if one is old school about it. It was decided that a pound cake would be the Yule Cake this year. So a pound of flour (half regular organic wheat – no barley – flour, half cake flour) was weighed and then sifted five times…the last sifting is when I cheated ever so slightly by sifting in 2 tsp of non-aluminum baking powder. A pound of powdered sugar, also organic and with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch was likewise sifted. A pound of eggs was weighed and separated and a pound of butter softened. A couple teaspoons of vanilla was the flavoring chosen. Then the Yulish bits were readied –a cup of pecans was so finely shredded as to look like flour itself and generous 2/3 cup of dried berries was soaked in aged rum. I mixed a couple tablespoons of butter with a couple tablespoons of coconut sugar and drained the now plump berries and stirred it together and set it aside. I put the oven to warm to 325 degrees F.
First I creamed the butter, very gradually adding the sifting-fluffed sugar a quarter cup at a time. I stirred in the vanilla and added the egg yolks one by one. The fluffy mass threatened to creep over the top of my Kitchenaid mixer, I would spatula it down every few minutes! I stirred in the pecans and flour, puffing a goodly dust of it over my cabinet; then I took off the entire bowl, mixing blade and all and set it aside. I put my second bowl on and whipped the egg whites until stiff. As they whipped, I prepared the intricately detailed pan. It looks as if Frank Lloyd Wright designed a little round village and I absolutely LOVE the spray on baking blend of oil and flour to lubricate every crevice!
Finally, the delicate blending of egg whites and the heavier butter/sugar/flour mixture — I’d lift the mixing blade, pour in a dollop of white froth, and stir it in and repeat. I put the batter in the pan running my spatula up and down to knock out air bubbles. And last of all, I made a narrow channel in the top and filled it with the prepared streusel-fruit filling. Into the oven it went for 90 minutes!
Within the first half hour, the cake batter rose, curling over the gem-like berries enclosing them in rich buttery decadence. I checked with a skewer at cake center — dry and done! I let it cool in the pan for seven minutes and upended it upon the waiting cake platter. Lifting off the fancy pan is the delicate bit – it has no grips whatsoever. With the tines of two forks under the pan edge, I held my breath and lifted the pan off the cake, tipping the still very warm pan back onto my aproned midriff. And yes, sighs of blissful relief — perfect form, perfectly risen, perfectly level! Once cooled, I dusted it with snowy powdered sugar — it needs no other embellishment. It will be dessert at our Solstice dinner Sunday afternoon.