So I know I have been missing in action but I have a really good reason:
Meet my newest grandson, Brody Wayne. We are all totally smitten with him, especially his big brother who asks daily, “Mom, can Brody walk yet?”
It’s hard to be strapped to the computer when I could be holding him in my arms. Forgive me.
So the great thing about his arrival was that he was born in Meridian, and on the way to Meridian from my neck of the woods is Mathis Peaches, and every time I pass by there, which has been *a lot* in the last month with all the mid-wife/hospital visits, I am compelled to pick up fresh strawberries.
You guys. I have eaten some strawberries this season. I won’t even say how many.
The sad thing is that I have tried in the past to make really good pound cakes for strawberry shortcake, but I’ve always failed. Some people have sworn to me that cream cheese is the way to go, but I’ve even tried some famous recipes and none of them were what I would call really good pound cakes.
Or it could have been my baking skills, yes. I acknowledge this.
I have my own idea of what a really good pound cake should taste like. First, and this is probably the most important thing to me, it should have a crispy, sugary, almost greasy (in a good way) crust on the outside. A must in my book. Secondly, the inside has got to be major moist and I am almost talking a little wet here.
Look, I’m just sharing from my heart today. These are my true feelings on the subject.
Lastly, please let there be a thick glaze on it which adds to the moisture content and enhances the crispy outside.
Well, I am proud to say, after tweaking one of my grandmother’s recipes
several many times now, I finally feel like I nailed it.
You guys! This pound cake is all of those things and more!!!
As it turns out for me, buttermilk is the way to go, not cream cheese. If I only knew this years ago…
And I know that I am going out on a limb here, because my pound cake will be judged by the internet and some will say, “meh, it was okay, but my recipe is better, blah, blah, blah,” but this recipe is perfect for me. (Hence the title.) Maybe it will be perfect for you, maybe it won’t. But I am in love.
Read my notes because they are very important. Also, check out how I make my super indulgent strawberry shortcake for days when you want to be, well, super indulgent.
–First things first. The pan. I used a 16 x 5 inch very light colored loaf pan that I bought in the cake section of Wal-Mart. Go there right now and get one. They usually have them stacked up. They are longer than a regular loaf pan. The “light in color” part is important because I have used dark colored loaf pans before, and the outside of my cakes got way too dark and some even burned.
–To get that crispy crust, you will need to wipe down the inside of the pan with softened butter. Every corner, every side. This will prevent it from sticking too. Then, pour in the some sugar and rotate the pan so that the sugar coats all of the butter. Pour out the excess.
–It’s really important not to over bake this. This happened to me once and although it was still good, it was not quite as moist as the times I didn’t over bake it. For my oven, it takes about 50 minutes. But I start check ing at 40 and then I check every 3-4 minutes after that.
–Make the the glaze when it comes out of the oven. Pour it on immediately, letting it seep down the sides, yes, while it is still in the pan. It will eventually mostly dissolve into the cake.
–Cool completely before removing from pan. I like to carefully turn mine out onto parchment paper, then I store it in parchment paper also, wrapping it up and leaving it at room temperature on the counter.
–Also, how I make my super indulgent strawberry shortcake and how I make whipped cream without measuring is in the recipe below.
–I like to use all organic ingredients when I can.
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 tablespoons softened butter for greasing the pan
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar for coating the pan
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and the sugar on medium speed with a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add vanilla. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda on low speed, then stream in buttermilk and increase speed to medium again until mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides.
- Wipe the inside of a 16 X 5 inch loaf pan (light colored—dark pans will cause the cake to brown to quickly) with 1-2 tablespoons of butter, being careful to cover every inch of the inside of the pan. Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and turn, shake, and rotate pan so that the sugar sticks to the butter on every side in the pan. Dump out the excess sugar.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or JUST until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached, not wet batter. It’s important not to over bake. Keep checking every 3-4 minutes at the 40 minute mark. Every oven is different. When done, place on wire rack and immediately make the glaze. Pour the glaze over the top, spreading it to the sides of the pan so it can seep down between the cake and pan. Cool completely. (Glaze will harden as it sets.) Carefully turn out onto a piece of parchment paper, then place right side up again. I like to keep mine wrapped in parchment paper for storage.
- To make the glaze: Add the lemon juice, butter and powdered sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking often, until butter is melted and everything is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Use immediately.
Pull green stems off of strawberries, maybe a couple of quarts of them or so, then wash and chop. Place them in a bowl, then sprinkle them with a tablespoon or two of sugar and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let them sit overnight in the fridge and a syrup will form. (If you don’t want to wait overnight, give them an hour at room temperature on your counter.)
Cut two slices of pound cake and spread with butter. Heat a grill pan until hot, then grill the pound cake slices until golden brown on both sides. Place one slice of pound cake on a plate, then spread with Nutella. Top with some strawberries, then whipped cream, then place another slice of pound cake that has been spread with Nutella on top, Nutella side down. Top with more whipped cream and berries.
How to make homemade whipped cream without measuring:
Start with really cold heavy cream. I like to place my bowl and beaters in the freezer too, for about 5 minutes before I begin. Pour some heavy cream into the mixer bowl—about a cup or so. Just eyeball it. If you have a tall skinny carton of heavy cream, that will be about ¼ of it. If you have a single small carton, like the milk carton you drank out of as a child, that will be one cup. Just pour the whole thing in the mixer. Beat on high speed until foamy. Stop the mixer and add a spoonful or two of powdered sugar. I use a spoon from my silverware drawer, not a measuring spoon. Also, add a few drops of vanilla. As much as you want. Start the mixer on low again, until the powder is mixed in, then increase speed to high until your cream is fluffy and has medium-stiff peaks. Taste it. Is it sweet enough? If not, add a little more sugar and quickly beat it in. I prefer stiffer peaks on my whipped cream, but some people like softer peaks. It’s totally up to you. Definitely don’t go beyond stiff peaks, because it could turn into butter before you know it. Store in refrigerator.