It has been a busy week in the kitchen. As I mentioned in my recent blog, I came across a copy of cooking with Paula Deen while waiting last fall in the check-out aisle of the supermarket. Within its pages I found a recipe for a Classic Cold-Oven Pound Cake.
The recipe intrigued me as the words ‘cold-oven’ was part of the description of this pound cake. I have always pre-heated my oven and I thought, “Okay I will give this a try”. I had all but one ingredient in my pantry and refrigerator except the heavy whipping cream. I made a trip to the supermarket and was ready to go.
Classic Cold-Oven Pound Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- Spray a 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- In another large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add flour mixture in butter mixture alternately with cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spread batter into prepared pan, and place in cold oven.
- Set oven to 325°, and bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, about 75 minutes. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely, right side up, on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
The cake batter was easy to prepare then it was in the oven. I had to add an additional few minutes to the time before wooden pick came out clean. The top of the cake was crunchy and soft inside.
As soon as the cake was thoroughly cooled I brought a slice to Randy and he loved it, especially the crunchy top. And, yes, I sent along two slices to Bob and Sandy and asked for their feedback.
Now, this was the first cake for the week. The second was actually a cake I received via priority mail from our very good friend, Geri. The first time I enjoyed Geri’s beyond delicious rum cake a few years ago and had asked for the recipe. She was kind but firm with her response saying, “I can’t do that. It is a secret family recipe”.
In 2016 Jim and Vilma came for a short visit. Geri came too and knowing how much I love her rum cake brought one along. I was in heaven!
This past January Jim and Vilma were stopping by again. Learning about their impending visit Geri sent along an email that started, “No, I am not enclosing the rum cake recipe. HaHaHa”. She went on to say that she had heard that Jim and Vilma would be visiting and asked, “Was wondering if you would share her (Vilma) one night? I will trade you a large rum cake for a bed for one night”.
Now, how funny is that? After I stopped laughing, I replied, “Absolutely”. Unfortunately, just before Jim and Vilma arrived, we received another email from Geri that read, “It is with heavy heart that I am letting you know, I will not be able to make the trip to see you all”. Geri had picked up a bug and did not want to ‘pass it along’ to the rest of us.
A week later I sent an email to Geri asking after her health. After saying that she was fine, she went on to say that she wanted to send a fresh rum cake and needed to know if we would be home for delivery.
“You are so funny! You don’t have to send us a cake (she says with fingers crossed),” I replied. A week later the cake arrived. This was the email I sent to Geri after the cake arrived:
“The cake made it today and within a few minutes I had the box open, the aluminum foil peeled back, a large slice on a plate and a wondrous bite in my mouth. Thank you, thank you, and thank you”.
Because Bob and Sandy had heard me talk about this delicious cake and my failed attempts at getting the recipe, I sent over two slices for them to enjoy and discover for themselves why I love this delicious cake so much.
A few days later I received an email from Sandy that read as follows:
“We have always known how lucky we were to land in Del Webb AND how lucky to land on 91st Terrace Road. What we have also learned is that our luck extended to living beside Randy and Mary, especially when Mary cooks/bakes and we are tapped to “taste test”. Oh my.
The latest “tasting” was just yesterday when Mary delivered not one cake to test but two. I will try to do justice to each.
The first “pound” cake would be worth its weight in gold. It was a “simple” vanilla version that was eaten down to the last crumb. So very moist yet with a delicious crunchy top so that you got both moist and crunchy in each bite. And Mary said the only variation that she used was cream for the liquid. The taste was annoyingly familiar but one that you couldn’t put a name to. So, per Mary, the name was “cream”. How simple is that. We were very disappointed when our plates were empty of even the smallest crumb.
The second cake was a rum cake, but not just any rum cake. There is quite a story surrounding this. A dear friend of Mary and Randy’s who lives afar is quite renowned for this particular item. So much so that even her closest friends who desire the recipe are told “NO”. Repeated pleas have gone unanswered. So, this particular cake is almost a legend. Anyway, this friend was scheduled for a visit recently but due to illness was not able to come to Florida. And, not able to come to Florida with a rum cake!!! However, those who are patient are often rewarded and so Mary and Randy were rewarded yesterday when this beloved item arrived by mail. BY MAIL!!!
And being accredited taste testers, were rewarded with a piece for each of us. And, we now know why the recipe is so coveted. This cake was the most moist, the most flavorful, the most “rummiest”, the most delicious that we had ever tasted. And the nuts in the topping were wonderful.
These two tastings made our day/month/year!!! Each cake was beyond wonderful. Each cake has its own reasons that make you hope you will, at some time, have more. Each cake was different than the other; however, so much alike in that they exceeded the deliciousness quotient.
Mary is a wonderful cook/baker and we are so fortunate to have the “jobs” we have.
Keep the oven warm Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I think that says it all for these two delicious cakes.