Sunday, February 10, 2013
Sixty Degrees Indeed!
I watch the news mainly for the weather forecast. This weekend was supposed to be downright balmy with gentle winds and 60 warm degrees. I am not gullible enough to believe everything I hear. I was actually hoping they had under estimated how great the weekend would be. Hope runs deep.
I awoke Saturday and got started on my day. I had a lone cup of coffee and then jumped right into my chores. A recipe for a coconut pound cake had caught my eye the night before as I lurked on Pinterest. I like coconut. He who has a sweet tooth does, too. But, I have two bags of coconut in the pantry that needs to be used. All the ingredients were right there in my house, requiring no trip to a store and the size of the cake was right. A small loaf size, as opposed to big one. There was also a rumor afloat about a visit from some of my favorite kampers. So, a cake would be a good thing.
It was a Martha Stewart recipe. I carefully toasted the coconut, as directed. Too lazy to drag out the big mixer, I grabbed the hand mixer and measured all the ingredients, sifted the flour and followed instructions. As I stood creaming the butter and sugar for EIGHT minutes, I regretted my decision to leave the stand mixer in the cabinet. I didn't have buttermilk on hand, but a little vinegar and milk remedied that.
As I stood mixing, I looked over at the next thing on the instructions ........ naked eyed, no glasses on. I read the instructions to say that I need to save 1/2 of the buttermilk for the topping and I even looked twice when I felt like the batter was too stiff. Nope, I needed to save that much, I thought. I spooned the batter into the loaf pan that had been buttered and floured and popped the cake in the oven and set the timer.
My house was smelling heavenly of toasted coconut and vanilla and I was about the business of hooking another denim rug. This one is being made of 1/2" by 6" strips, using even more scraps of the jeans in the quilt. I plan to squeeze every square inch of usefulness out of those old ragged jeans.
The timer said 10 more minutes were left on my cake, so like all good cooks everywhere, knowing that ovens are not created equal, I stuck a skewer into the very center and withdrew it carefully. The skewer was clean, the cake was done. My first inkling of trouble afoot was the batter being so thick. The recipe said to POUR the batter into the prepared loaf pan. My batter was very thick and had to be spooned into the pan. But, my old go to pound cake recipe has to be spooned in also. The second clue was the weight of the cake I pulled from the oven. It was heavy. Still I cooled the cake as directed and then prepared to turn it out of the pan onto the cooling rack. When I carefully flipped it over, the whole thing slipped from my hands and fell!!!! Onto the counter, thank goodness.
It sort of split in the middle, but, I was still optimistic. That would not make it taste any different. I left it to cool completely and gathered the powdered sugar and the remaining buttermilk. At some point I had donned my glasses. I looked at the lone cup of sugar and the 1/2 cup of buttermilk and realized that would not make a drizzle, but a downpour. I went back to the recipe and realized I was only supposed to retain 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk ..........
The light and fluffy pound cake was as dense as a brick. More like the consistancy of chewy bread. A smal slice lays heavy on the stomach. I think I will slice the rest and toast it, then make a bread pudding. It will hopefully lighten up.
Turned out to be the way my day went. The wind was cold and damp. I didn't build a fire when I got up, thinking it would warm up as the day went on. It didn't warm up. It got colder and in the wee hours of the morning a thunderstorm woke me. It rained so hard I could hear it pounding the roof. The dogs were restless and downright scared. The dusk to dawn lights went out and I heard a loud pop of lightning. They came back on an hour or so later, as the worst of the storm passed on through. I had wondered if they had been hit.
Still cold today, with a gray overcast sky. Sunny and 60 degrees indeed!