Ah, the pound cake: the paradigmatic example of Americans taking something functional and fucking it up.
For those of you unfortunate souls who don’t know, the reason why a pound cake is called a pound cake is because the total weight of the combined ingredients is a pound, not because it vaguely resembles a brick you could hurl at your neighbor’s lawn/neighbor.
It was a brilliant name, as far as pragmatics and marketing go. It tells you part of how to make the damn thing and it tells you just how easy it is to do it: weigh the bowl and you’re good to go. Simple, elegant, delicious.
But of course, we had to take that beautiful idea, slather it in melted butter, and cram it inside a couple fistfuls of ground beef, as us freedom-huffing missle-chuckers are want to do. Instead of using the weight instructionally, we decided to use it as a weird badge of pride, a testament to not just how much we can kill, but how much of it we can fit inside of us. It’s like the second amendment and Golden Corral had a strange, Eraserhead-like baby and draped it in the American flag.
We have contests, fucking contests, based on who can eat the biggest porterhouse. Our burgers aren’t just deluxe anymore, they’re one and a half-pound, four-pattied monstrosities. Our soft drinks have gotten so huge they’re more likely to sound like natural disasters than sizes. I want to take a sip of my Dr. Pepper, not be fucking baptized by it.
Look, you know me. I’m not put off by eating a grotesque slab of something that used to live in a forest, and I’ve had my share of milkshakes the size of a small grain silo. The point is, those things aren’t normal; they’re novelties. Have some fun with them, don’t treat them like they’re part of the constitution. Or just be a semi-responsible human and eat some pound cake, like I’m going to.
Here’s what you need:
– 1 stick of room temperature butter
– 1 ½ cups sugar
– ½ cup greek yogurt
– ¼ teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon baking powder
– 1 ½ cups AP flour
– 3 large eggs
– ½ teaspoon almond extract
– 1 cup strawberries
– 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 4 bags lady gray tea
– 2 tablespoons sugar
Here’s how you do it:
First, heat the cream in a small saucepot over medium heat. You want to take it off the stove JUST as it starts to bubble, otherwise it’s gonna spill all over the place. Unless you feel like playing your own personal game of “the floor is lava”, keep an eye on it.
Put the tea bags in the cream, make sure they’re completely covered, and let them steep for 30 minutes.
Press on the bags with a wooden spoon to get that last bit of tea goodness out of there, then remove the bags and chill the cream overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the yogurt.
Next, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, and flour in a separate bowl.
Mix in an egg, then a third of the dry stuff, and keep repeating until everything’s in the bowl.
Dice up the strawberries and fold them into the batter along with the almond extract.
Get a loaf pan and spray it with non-stick, then pour the batter in and bake for around 45 minutes. Do the good ol’ toothpick test if you’re not sure.
While the cake’s in the oven, make the whipped cream.
All you have to do here is add the cream from last night, sugar, and vanilla to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip the ever-loving crap out of it. When the peaks can stand up on their own, you’ll know it’s ready. You’re not an idiot, you know what whipped cream’s supposed to look like.
Take the cake out, let it cool to room temperature, top with a little whipped cream, and eat. It’s just that simple.
This week’s song is a simple one too: it’s Gerald Finzi’s Romance in E Flat Major:
Taste doesn’t come in weights, folks. You can’t measure it, you can’t put it on a scale, and you sure as hell don’t get a t-shirt for eating 20 ounces of it. Stop trying to win at food, and just shut the hell up and eat it. That’s my advice.
I’ll see you next time.