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  • Susan Welsh

National Pound Cake Day


I have a long history with cake--lots of cake! Two of my favorites are my mom's coffee cake with a streusel of cinnamon, sugar, walnuts and chocolate chips, and my grandmother's yellow cake with mocha cream icing; this is the cake I would set an alarm to wake up early for! That extra, fat slice wrapped in Saran Wrap, sitting in the fridge, waiting to be claimed. This was the one less-than-balanced breakfast my mother would allow me, and I still dream of this cake. I haven't had it since my grandmother passed, but one of these days I'm going to recreate it, with her baking angels on my shoulder.

Since today is National Pound Cake Day, I'm feeling inspired to break out the butter, eggs, flour and sugar-- one pound of each and you've got yourself a poundcake-- and, yes, that's exactly how it got it's name. These days, however, most recipes are scaled down, using the same ratio, to accommodate the average-- size baking pan.

There are some interesting theories on the science of baking and whether to weigh or use measuring cups. In my experience, it sort of depends, additionally, on a baker's innate sense of being able to "read" the ingredients and "knowing" one's own kitchen tools and appliances--the unique quirks and intricacies of your own baking space.

Today, for my part, I'll celebrate by baking a wonderful take on a classic-- Alisa's Marbled Pound Cake courtesy of the delightful chef, Pati Jinich. This recipe yields a pound cake of perfect sweetness and depth of chocolate. A slice of this and a glass of milk--HEAVEN!


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