Perfect Pound — Cooking Old School Yule


12/20/2014 by syrbal-labrys

ReadyRemember 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.

2014-12-03 Day 51 Yule Cake



2 thoughts on “Perfect Pound — Cooking Old School Yule

  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    That is one fine looking cake! I’m not a baker, with the exception of an embarrassingly easy Pão de Queijo which is FANTASTIC.

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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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