This cake tastes like love Mama! I think I know what you mean sweet girl, although its been awhile since I tasted love. Lucky you. Your first taste, something you will chase and I’m pretty sure find again.
I remember the first time I tasted love. A hot dog encased in a buttery, toasted bun. Papa made it for me. [Do you remember him? It’s OK. You were so small, months from your fourth birthday. You sat next to him on his hospital bed, old westerns playing on TV, though no one was watching. So brave of you! He didn’t look like himself: pale, listless. Blue, really. His hands looked like wax; incoherent with morphine. I’m glad you don’t remember.]
Just shy of 8, on a humid summer day I spent the morning swimming in my grandparent’s pool, like most summer mornings many decades ago; only slightly tired after hours of play, but always famished.
[Can you picture me love? Full of energy? Playful? Try. We are, we will be, more similar than you hope.]
I walked into the kitchen, a towel clumsily wrapped around me, a puddle of water forming around my feet. Papa stood at the counter, khaki pants, navy t-shirt, sweat puddling above his giant, caterpillar eyebrows. Eating, barely chewing a hot dog and taking long swigs of a cold Budweiser in between each colossal bite. He smelled like gas and grass clippings. [Some days I smell both. Inhale deeply. Think of him and feel nothing but gratitude. A familiar smell may do the same to you someday. Enjoy it, be thankful for it.]
Hungry? How about a hot dog Kel-bel?” [I wore hunger in my eyes just like you.] I settled at their small, wooden kitchen table, still in my bathing suit and watched as he got to work. He placed a large dollop of butter into an old, greasy Teflon frying pan. While the butter melted, he made 3 small slices in the hot dog and grabbed a bun. Carefully he placed both in the pan while the butter crackled and danced around them.
[The smell of butter still comforting to me. What will comfort you, goose?]
Minutes later the hot dog was ready, plated and decorated with a long, squiggly strip of ketchup. I devoured it. As I drank a glass of cold milk, I heard the the sizzle and sputter of butter in the frying pan, the smell of another hot dog frying to golden perfection. Smart man.
[That’s the thing with love my one and only girl; once you taste it, you have a hankering for it. Feast on it. Chase it. And, if you are very lucky, you will find love many times over.]
Cold-Oven Strawberry Pound Cake
A moist pound cake baked with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a slightly sweet strawberry icing
recipe adapted from Food 52 Baking
1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened and cubed
1/2 solid shortening
3 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat milk
3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup fresh, pureed strawberries
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Butter (really butter) and flour your Bundt pan and set aside.
Measure out your flour and add a teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Hull and slice strawberries and puree in a blender. You will need about 1 cup of pureed strawberries. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for another minute.
Add the vanilla to the cup of milk and then pour about 1/3 of the milk into the sugar mix. Next, add a cup of flour and beat until just incorporated. Repeat the process two more times: milk then the flour, beating until just combined each time. Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan. Pour 2/3 cup of pureed strawberries over the batter and swirl gently with a butter knife. Add the remaining batter and smooth the top with a spatula. Place Bundt pan in cold oven. Turn the oven on to 300F and bake for 45 minutes. Increase the temperature to 325F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes. The cake is ready when it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a serving plate.
Using a small bowl add 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the remaining strawberry puree. Stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add a little more of the puree until you achieve the consistency you desire. Drizzle over the cake. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
**The cake will last stored in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for several days.**
5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links!
Cherry season is here so why not throw some into a buttery marzipan covered pound cake? Check out 1 Big Bite’s cherry and marzipan pound cake recipe.
Looking for a low-fat pound cake recipe? Bakers Royale has a recipe for you.
Summer berries are abundant now and perfect in a pound cake. Head to Orangette for a raspberry-blueberry pound cake that sounds divine!
Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Key Lime Pound Cake. Yes it exists. Head to Baker by Nature for the recipe.
Lottie + Doof’s salted caramel pound cake is on my must make list. I’m drooling.