The photos in this post were taken a day after I made this cake.
BIG NEWS: I'm moving back to Los Angeles in fewer than 10 days. I have applied for a leave of absence from graduate school, so I hope to return to school in a year. I have been in school non-stop since kindergarten. So, I went from elementary to high school to earning my BA to my first master's degree to my second master's to doctoral coursework and then to my qualifying paper (a condensed version of my dissertation). For practically 2 years, I have been working on my qualifying paper in graduate school because my depression and lack of willpower have been preventing me from moving forward. When I tell myself to work on my paper, I end up doing something else like cook, bake, read other blogs, post entries, take photos, watch TV, lie in bed, stare at the walls, cry, etc. Before you blame my lost of will on baking and blogging, I must tell you that I was feeling this way one year before starting this blog, which is also one year before I started to cook/bake.
Since I was 9 years old, I have wanted to earn a PhD. I have come very close to reaching my goal, and it frustrates me that I waited so long to take a break when I'm close to the end. However, I cannot keep wasting my school's or my own time. This life is the only one I have.
I have been applying for jobs in Los Angeles and so far have not found anything (BTW, if you know of anyone looking for a new employee, let me know! haha). I will miss teaching foreign languages so much, so I hope I can a find a teaching job. Anyway, I don't know what the future will hold, but I have decided to push my worries away and leave my future up to God. I have faith that He will direct my path.
CAKE: I have been wanting to make pound cake for a long time. When I found this recipe entitled "Mama's Pound Cake" in Paula Deen's cookbook in Barnes and Noble, I immediately took a photo of it on my phone to make it for later. I modified the recipe a bit by adding almond extract, substituting buttermilk, and adding a simple glaze.
The oven burnt the top after only 15 minutes. I covered it with foil and allowed it to cook longer. The cake was not fully done on one side and was burnt on the outside on the other. However, the part underneath the burnt crust was almost perfect, so I ate only the done parts. For the other loaf of cake, I lowered the oven rack, and the cake cooked much better. However, I didn't grease the loaf pan well enough because I was running out of spray, so it didn't come out completely. Anyway, the next day, the cake was even better. Just make sure you cover your pound cake with a towel or a paper towel loosely. According to Alton Brown, pound cakes don't like to be smothered.
Buttermilk Pound Cake
adapted from Paula Deen's 'Mama's Pound Cake'
Yield: 2 loaf pans or 1 tube pan
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I used kosher)
1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 loaf pans or tube pan with Baker's spray, the like, or butter/flour.
Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar a little at a time. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well each time. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and combine the buttermilk and extracts in a liquid measuring cup. Add the dry mixture to the batter alternatively with the milk/extract mixture, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.
Pour mixture into the pans or tube pan, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes to a cooling tray for 10 minutes.
Vanilla GlazePowdered sugar
Milk or half-n-half
Vanilla extract (optional; I forgot to add this)
I have no set measurements for the glaze. I just put some sugar in a bowl and added enough milk (add the extract before the milk) to make the glaze pourable.