Thursday, August 5, 2010

Buttermilk Pound Cake & Big News

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.
I won't be posting for awhile due to the move. I've already sold the TV trays I use for my photos, anyway. Take care, everyone!

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 Glaze
Powdered 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.

61 comments:

  1. Good luck on your new adventure, Memoria! People change, and sometimes we just have to step back and take a different path. I've done this several times in my life and each new path has brought me new things to be thankful for. I look forward to your return to blogging! Take care.

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  2. Have fun in LA! I'm guessing it's a very fun place to live! This poundcake looks divine. You can't go wrong with Paula Deen!

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  3. Muy buena suerte en tu futuro y creo que Los Angeles debe ser interesante para vivir, espero que te guste y te sientas bien. El pound cake esta divino.
    Besos

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  4. Hooray! Good luck with the move. If I hear of any jobs, you will be the first to know!!

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  5. El buttermilk es muy dificil de conseguir por aqui. Se ve tan esponjoso tu bizcocho, me lo apunto.

    Saludos

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  6. Well, if AB says don't smother your pound cake, then I'm glad you listened. : )

    Good luck on your move and congratulations!! Sounds like an exciting time.

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  7. It's not easy to step out of your comfort zone and do something drastically different. Wishing you happiness in whichever new path you choose to walk. Gambatte!

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  8. Good luck with the move! Hopefully everything will fall into place for you. I'll look forward to an update.

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  9. I hope you find what you're looking for in LA Memoria. ooh and I hope you get a better oven too :-)

    This pound cake looks delicious- I like your addition of the buttermilk. mmm.

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  10. God bless you, Memoria! Don't be gone too long, though! Keep us posted on your next adventure in life and food!

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  11. well you wouldn't know you had any problems it looks delicious!! and I'm sure it was better the second day! thanks for sharing this recipe with us.......and good luck in your job hunt!

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  12. Best of luck with your move and with what lies ahead...I know it'll be something good. :-)

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  13. Oh no... I just found you and now I am already missing you! I will tell Robin your news right away! Please know that I appreciate your gentle spirit and your willingness to be transparent. (Both traits I continue to work on at 52...) To embrace the way of faith is to say that God is good and you obey Him, and that God's promises are true and you rely on them. Nothing more is needed. May God bless you, protect you and provide for you. We will be looking for your next post!

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  14. Hi, Memoria

    I guess it is official; you really are heading off to L.A. I pray that you will truly trust that God will continue to rest, rule and abide in your life as He has faithfully done over the years! Please know that I am proud of you for all the academic achievements you have made since kindergarten, and I know you will keep your head in the books! I making such a major decision and I hope that you will be happy and safe in your travels and in your new home.

    You know that I love buttermilk and I am counting on you to make this yummy looking dessert when I come visit you in California this Christmas! I too hope that you will finally have access to a properly working oven so that your wonderful treats will come out even better than they already do!

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  15. I've spent quite a bit of my life going to school too :-) 2 post-grads and I was on my way to earning my Doctorate when I had my 1st child, got married and made the tough decision to give it up.

    And it was a good one. There is life after school. And now I look back and wonder what studying politics had to do with my future. I should have gone to cooking school instead.

    Enjoy your year in LA!

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  16. Lovely cake, like the buttermilk glaze

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  17. Simply irresistible Memoria.

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  18. Good luck to you in LA! I hope things go well for you over there!

    This cake looks so good!!!

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  19. Sometimes you have to go back to move ahead!

    Do good things Memoria :o)

    Love you,
    Mom :o)

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  20. Good luck with your move and in starting a new chapter in your life! Sometimes we all need a change of pace to put things in perspective. Your cake looks yummy despite your cantankerous oven. Here's hoping your new home has an oven worthy of your culinary creations! I hope you keep baking and blogging once you get settled into your new home.

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  21. Saw this cake on FG and just had to come and say it looks good. Never saw a pound cake with buttermilk.
    Good luck with the move, and wishing you all the best in the future. Enjoy the break.

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  22. I know exactly what you're going through ... though funny ... I *left* graduate school in Los Angeles to move back to New Jersey. Take a deep breath, and know that this is right, and that you will find your place. We all do, eventually. In the meantime, we will all continue to gape at your beautiful blog. :)

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  23. Beautiful cake...I am sure it will be exciting to move back, changes can do a world of good for the soul:)

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  24. There is a great food blogging group in L.A. that will welcome you with open arms. They are having a meeting on August 22. Let me know if you would like an invite. I love your blog, Memoria, and I hope everything is well with you.

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  25. Good luck with the move and the job hunt Memoria! A change is scary sometimes, but also exciting and full of opportunities...look forward to reading about your new adventures :)

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  26. Good luck with everything. I think it takes a lot of strength to recognize when you need a step back. Bet that than to burn out and maybe give up your dream entirely as a result. Your cake looks very delicious, too.

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  27. Good luck Memoria on the move and on your future employment etc. And its good to trust that God will always provide for you and keep you blessed!

    Also, pound cake :)

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  28. Wow! What a big move. You know, in Europe, kids take a year off between high school and univ, called a Gap Year. I think it is time for your Gap Year(s). This might what you need to move forward. Good luck. Love your pound cake, btw.

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  29. all the best, and take care! hope everything will turn out the best for you. love the vanilla glaze over the cake, very pretty

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  30. Good luck on the big move! I wish you all the best, we will be waiting for your next posts! :-) Take care xx

    Cheers from Australia,
    Amy @ Foodista

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  31. Best of luck to you! It's easy to get burned out. I just finished my MA in Classics, which took nearly four years to wrap up because I was taking classes part time and teaching full time. So, I can sympathize! I'm sure you have a supportive network of caring friends and family; take a deep breath, and let the batteries recharge (to mix metaphors)! :)

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  32. good for you... change is a good thing. We have moved a lot in the last few years and I find it to exhilarating. There is a food bloggers seminar on Sept 25th in LA. Maybe I'll see you there?

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  33. I'm sorry it's been so hard =( God will surely direct. There's a quote from Jim Elliot who says "God always give His best to those who leave the choice with Him."
    Meanwhile that cake looks AMAZING! I definitely want to try it sometime!

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  34. Wishing you all the best and an oven that doesn't burn your food! :) Take care & I look forward to reading about your adventures in LA
    ~ingrid

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  35. Wow, what a heart felt post. I really wish you the best. I will be sending many prayers up for you. From great to goddess you will find your destiny!(in many cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love and the household).

    ~Shelisa xoxo

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  36. the glaze looks very inviting! Glad to hear about your move!

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  37. Love the fact that You are taking a break FINALLY! How can you study soooo much? But congratulations on all your achievements!
    And LOVE LOVE LOE the cake recipe. Thanks for sharing :-)

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  38. Hi Memoria, hope everything works for you...change is scary but good...make you stronger. The cake looks delicious with the glaze, would love to have a bite of it :-)

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  39. Memória, I admire you so much. Sometimes we just can't make ourselves do something when our hearts are not in it. It seems your heart is in other things (like cooking and baking), and I wish you the best of luck with your new endeavors! I know you will be successful no matter what you do -- your blog is living proof of that. Good luck with everything!

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  40. best of luck in LA, memoria. i totally know how you feel. i'm actually going to come back to austin in a week or so, and hopefully i'll be able to finish my diss by may.

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  41. Memoria - my best to you on this new adventure in your life. I think your blog is a great example of how when you put your mind to something, wonderful things can happen! Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

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  42. Gorgeous cake & photos. Best of luck in LA!

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  43. Congrats on your move back to LA, and congrats on all you've accomplished! That said, that's a wickedly beautiful pound cake and the photos are spectacular! You go girl!!

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  45. The best of luck to you! You deserve a break and I know that you will find a wonderful job in LA! The pound cake doesn't look half bad, either! :)

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  46. The cake looks delicious!

    All the best to you as you move back to LA.

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  47. Sometimes a new place, out of your comfort zone, can put new energy into your life and restore spent passions. SOmetimes dreams don't turn out as you planned... sometimes you get more than you wished for! Here's hoping for the best for you.

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  48. MEMORIA,
    I hope you will find a job very soon. LA is a big city, I am sure they have something for you. I wish you a good luck dear!

    About your comment on my Italian Chocolate Bread,
    I didn't know why they name it like that, it didn't really explain anything in the book. It just say that, this is an Italian delicacy. I also saw a few blogger posted on their blog with title "Italian Chocolate Bread", and they also adapted from the same book/author. So, that's why I put the title like that, after you explain the translation, I took the word "Italian" off. Like you, I wish I know the history as well. Anyway, thank you so much. I am glad that you told me about it. By the way, if you have the book, check it out, it's on page 291.

    I hope you will like your new neighborhood. Good luck with everything!
    Cheers,
    elra

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  49. Hey there,

    May God do what he sees best for you. Believe in yourself and hopefully things will work out great! P.S. Love poundcake and yours looks so yummy.

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  50. You are a brave and beautiful woman and I applaud your courage to take a break at this time. I think that you are doing the right thing even if it may not seem that way to others. Your faith is well founded and I know that he will direct your path. I wish you much success.

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  51. Very cool that you are moving to LA! As a fellow baker, I would love to meet up with you sometime. Always looking to make new passionate foodie friends. :) I hope your move serves you well in heart, mind, and spirit. It is definitely good to take a break and tend to self once in awhile. I so agree with that.

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  52. Good luck with everything- your move, your path, your school, finding a job! In the meantime this pound cake looks fabulous.. I don't think you can ever go wrong with a Paula Deen recipe!

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  53. Good luck with your move and all your plans! I hope it all works out perfectly! I just made Paula's Mama's Pound Cake recently (except I added blueberries)- isn't it GOOD?! This looks just gorgeous, and I love that glaze! Again, good luck, girl! :)

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  54. Wow. I am in the same situation. I have to propose my dissertation in September and my life has been miserable for the last two years! The faculty are all over me to get some publications out but I am so burnt I don't know if I have the stamina! You are a great baker and you have helped me tastefully avoid doing work, while also providing me with the rewards when I actually DO accomplish something. :)

    Good luck with all your plans!

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  55. Hope the move the working. I love exciting changes like this. Congrats!

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  56. Good luck on your big move! Your cake looks beautiful!

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  57. Congrats on the upcoming change!

    Ohhh this cake looks way too good. It would make a perfect afternoon snack with tea...yummy.

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  58. I hope you keep baking and blogging once you get settled into your new home.

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  59. It is good to be read ue post and who else will read it he will definitely get many more.

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  60. Buttermilk pound cake is really looking very delicious.I enjoyed really the recipe.

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