There’s certain, let’s say, obsessive trait that is common to chefs and producers. I prefer to call it passion. It was no surprise that at one point in my career I toyed with the idea of recreating myself as a pastry chef. In my off time I took any pastry and baking class I could get my hands on. I baked wedding cakes for friends as their wedding gift and took it a step further by baking my own wedding cake. What was I thinking? Right, that passion thing. It is no accident that a highlight of co-producing an NPR radio series was sharing recipes with guest Nora Ephron.
Although I can cover a skyscraper sized a cake with sugar flowers and lace piping, at the end of the day the best tasting cake is my mother Sally’s pound cake. You know the cake. The ever-satisfying comfort cake and a sure thing for any holiday, housewarming or Shiva . My family calls it Sally’s Pound Cake. Disclosure -it’s not her recipe, but, over time and enough claiming it became Sally’s Pound Cake. At one point it was called Sally’s Golden Feathery Pound Cake but I thought that was taking it too far. The recipe was shared with her by an acquaintance Sis – it didn’t take long before Sis was out of the pound cake picture and it was all Sally’s. It’s so 60’s that Presto flour is an ingredient – Presto can still be found in any grocery store worth it’s salt.
It is the little black dress of pound cakes. Simple and elegant on it’s own, but, accessorized with fruit, cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce it is a grand finale for any dinner party. It is the thing that memories are made of when day old and toasted with a slather of butter and good conversation. I mix the batter in her green Pyrex bowl and bake the cake in the same tube pan she used . You should use your Kitchen Aid, but, for me that would be less Zen. After all, it’s a sentimental cake. It has lots of butter and lots of heart.
3 Cups Presto flour (self-rising) 1 Cup unsalted butter softened (the original recipe calls for 1 stick Oleo and 1 stick Spry) 2 Tablespoons of hot water 1 ¾ Cups of granulated sugar ¾ Cup of whole milk 2 teaspoons of vanilla 4 unbeaten eggs
Presto self rising flour
unsalted butter softened (the original called for 1 stick Spry and 1 stick of Oleo