Sunday, May 08, 2005

Unmolding Yesterday's Pound Cake

Yesterday, I went to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and found some of the sweetest strawberries at the Dirty Girl Produce stand. I couldn't resist buying two baskets, but even though they were freshly picked, these ripe berries were not going to last long. I gave Lou the choice of a strawberry tart or a pound cake to assist us in devouring the ruby gems and not surprisingly, pound cake was his choice. I decided to make the cake late in the afternoon and in my usual multi-tasking way, went to go to the gym while it was baking. When I returned, a golden, buttery cake was waiting to be removed from the oven. After placing the hot cake in it's tube pan on the cooling rack, I jumped in the shower to get ready for our Saturday night plans. Unfortunately, I entirely forgot about the cooling pound cake and left for dinner without unmolding it. This morning, I walked into the kitchen and realized my oversight. I loosened the sides of the cake from the pan with a knife then turned the pan upside down hoping the cake would release and drop out without a hitch. I repeatedly overturned and thumped the bottom of the pan but the stubborn cake would not give in. Then I thought, what is causing this relentless sticking? I greased the pan before I poured the batter in... of course, that was it! The cold butter must be causing the bond. I therefore realized that all I had to do was melt the butter between the cake and the pan. I turned on a burner held the tube pan over the flame for about 30 seconds, and sure enough, when I flipped it over, the pound cake fell right out. Because not everyone has the time or remembers to unmold a cake exactly when they're supposed to, I thought I'd share this handy bit of information. Isn't it nice to know you don't have to stay home on a Saturday night to unmold homemade cake? Plus, when you make your own pound cake, you know you're eating only natural and real ingredients, like butter verses some fake margarine made of partially hydrogenated oils.

To enjoy your pound cake with strawberries, clean the berries, cut the tops off and mix them with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Taste the berries and only use as much sugar as is needed, as their natural sweetness will depend on their variety and ripeness. The sweetened berries will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator and the sugar will make a sweet syrup with the berries' juice. Just pour the syrup and berries over a slice of cake and enjoy!

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