I rarely get sick. I mean rarely. It’s been years. Even when I get sick, it’s minor. Two days and I am back to brining pork chops. I was convinced my sheer will had been keeping me healthy all these years – until I developed a cold over the weekend. After 5 days, I was not your average cranky sick person. Some might hate the scratchy throat, complain about the stuffy nose, wince at the rib-bruising cough, but the mere act of enjoying a glass of wine was taken out of my figurative grasp and that is something there is no medicine for. Food shopping, cooking, and even my appetite ceased and I contemplated eating the grossest, healthiest thing I could find because my taste buds were on sick strike. Then I fought back with the help of a new friend named buttermilk poundcake.
Cold-0, Me + poundcake-1
For the cake:
3/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups flour sifted or food processed for 5 sec w/ other dry ingredients
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups solid shortening
4 lg eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (full fat if available)
juice of one lemon
For the glaze:
2⁄3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.
1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan, tapping out excess flour.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar to break up clumps.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening, stopping to scrape down the sides. Slowly drizzle in the sugar; cream the mixture well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding the next when the last has been incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture until just combined. Add a third of the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 75 minutes.( mine took about 10 mins longer) The top of the cake will be lightly browned, and the sides will shrink slightly from the pan. Cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a cake platter.
5. Before serving, stir together the glaze ingredients and spoon over the top and sides of the cake. It’s even better the next day.
Adapted from Cheri Cruze. Serves 10 to 12.
Rich without being dry or too dense. Not overly sweet. Perfect crisp exterior without over-browning.