sweet success!

November 27, 2007

Before

Un-Successful Pound Cake

After

Successful Pound Cake

So, I Ignored my Husbands embellished complaints of me spending ALL the money on “those ingredients” and Monday morning I headed down to the big grocery store, which by the way is just underneath my city-chic, super-urbanized apartment, to get some more mashed pumpkin and pecans. Yea, Yea, I know that was a super long sentence..my mother always told me I was a bit wordy. I bounded back upstairs, armed with my ingredients, spread everything out on the counter and then realized I had absolutely no idea how to fix my disaster of a cake from yesterday. sigh. ahh…the Internet! Aside from the fact that it provides a reason for my employment this is why I heart the Internet. To Google I go…and I find this really cool blog on the science of baking with this really cool article on the science of baking cakes. The article has a lot of great tidbits…but basically my cake recipie was all off balance. So although I didn’t actually take the time to do all the baking math I still managed to find a way to make it all work. The steps are pretty much the same though. I also used half & half this time instead of milk to make it a little richer…yum yum! 

3 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup pumpkin 

1 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoon cinnamon

5 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cup white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup pecans

 

¾ cup half & half

 

glaze:

1/4 cup of orange juice

1 tablespoon vanilla

about 3 cups powder sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a cookie sheet roast pecans in the oven until they darken. In a food processor or blender chop the roasted pecans until they make a sort of butter. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl cream sugar, eggs and vanilla together for about 30 seconds. Add pumpkin and pecan butter to creamed mixture. Cream for 5 minutes. Alternate adding milk and flour to the wet ingredients just until mixed in. Pour into a lightly floured fluted pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. In medium saucepan mix orange juice and vanilla. Gradually mix in powder sugar until you reach the desired consistency. With a spoon drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

I hadn’t realized before that the last cake was too heavy to rise…so it just sank. This cake though, rose beautifully and looked amazing. Not being able to wait to get to my parent’s house to try the cake I immediately tasted a slice when it was still warm…and it was delicious! But success couldn’t be concluded on my taste buds alone. So, over to my parent’s I went. Swooping into the kitchen where my mother was making dinner, I whipped off the foil covering the cake to dazzle my mother and sister. They complied and responded with “ooohhhs” and “aaahhhs”. They loved it. My brother couldn’t stop eating it. My mother has told me that she tried eating the cake in the morning…warmed with a little dollop of whipped cream. She says it is mmwah! (which means good) After dropping the cake off at my parents for them to enjoy. I headed back home to find the husband sitting in front of the t.v watching ESPN. Flopping onto the couch and laying my head in his lap…I smile.
“Did they like it?” He asks.
“Yep…Isaiah couldn’t stop eating it” I grin, feeling rosy with my success.
“Good Job.” He raises his hand for me to give him a high five.
Slapping his hand with mine I grin.

aaahh…sweet success.

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You can always tell who was watching t.v last in my house. If it was my husband..then when you flick on the t.v you get ESPN. If it was me…you get HGTV or Food Network. Those are pretty much the only 3 channels we watch…so why are we paying so much for cable again? sigh. Anyway, Semi-homemade on the FOOD network is one of my favorite shows. So a couple of weeks ago the chef (you know as much as a watch the show I don’t know the women’s name..ummm) made a pumpkin spice cake by using a yellow cake mix and a spice cake mix and some mashed pumpkin. Well I just thought this was a pretty good idea  and decided it would be dessert for Sunday.

I wanted this cake to be super buttery and moist…so I started with a basic pound cake recipe from no one other then Ms. Betty Cocker herself….I heart Betty :) I changed the recipe around a bit and here is what I came up with:
 

3 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 can pumpkin

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1 ½ cup brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup pecans

1 ¾ cup milk

 

glaze:

1/4 cup of orange juice

1 tablespoon vanilla

about 3 cups powder sugar


Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a cookie sheet roast pecans in the oven until they darken. In a food processor or blender chop the roasted pecans until they make a sort of butter.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl cream sugar, eggs and vanilla together for about 30 seconds. Add pumpkin and pecan butter to creamed mixture. Cream for 5 minutes. Alternate adding milk and flour to the wet ingredients just until mixed in. Pour into a lightly floured fluted pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. In medium saucepan mix orange juice and vanilla. Gradually mix in powder sugar until you reach the desired consistency. With a spoon drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

The result….an ooey gooey pound of pumpkin….
an ooey gooey pound of pumpkin
This cake was HEAVY! I mean really really heavy. As I was carrying it to the car to go to my parent’s house my arms got tired! umm…but I guess that could just mean that I’m really weak too…but really this cake was heavy. When we get to the car, I ploop it in my husband’s hands, “Babe…feel how heavy this cake is!”
“umm..” his face expression doesn’t change..which of course isn’t the reaction I wanted at all.
“Isn’t it really heavy?” I prod.
“It is a pound cake…it is supposed to be heavy.” he puts it in the back seat and gets in the car.

So of course the cake is so heavy because it is all dense and gooey in the inside. Not at all what I wanted. sigh. I announce to my family, after they all try to nibble it down and my mother tries to encourage me with, “Well honey, it does have good flavor.”, that I am going to try it again tomorrow. My husband says…”Mi you keep spending all the money on those ingredients.” giggle. This of course is a complete exaggeration