Call me a creature of habit. It could be a fatal flaw. But when I find a recipe I like, I stick with it and am reluctant to try another. I'm boring that way as well at restaurants we routinely dine at: I've tried the menu items, and arrived at something I can tolerate.
Well, that sounds bad. But, when you live in Chainsville and your choices are limited to frozen and reheated entrees. Deep exhalation. There is hope. Tupelo Honey opens in Johnson City in a few months in an historic train station structure. Undoubtedly that edifice will be much cooler than its original Asheville digs.
So my favorite pound cake recipe is one that my mother got from her friend and fellow nurse, Paulette. I titled it "Paulette's Whipping Cream Pound Cake" in the lined notebook in which I've collected and written recipes in since at least the mid-1990s. I mentioned it in one of my first blog posts in 2005. And I thought I shared the recipe somewhere in the eight years since I started this blog. Alas, I can't find ti quickly. No matter.
So then I remembered how peculiar this whipping cream pound cake is because you put the cake in a cold oven.
Yeah? Who does that?
James Villas commented on its strangeness in The Glory of Southern Cooking. Somehow he heard about an elderly lady in Johnson City who put butter and shortening in her pound cake and started it in a Cold Oven. So he sought her out and then talked the recipe out of her. And its in the book.
Interesting that JCY is renowned for this cold oven pound cake, and that my version, actually doesn't have the shortening in it, and substitutes whipping cream for milk. There are a few other differences, as well. And I've known about this "Other" JCY cold oven pound cake recipe for several years, the Villas book was published in 2007. And I've made this pound cake at least a dozen years or more.
Whoop-de-doo. I thew caution to the wind and even used my new tube pan to try it out. Only, it was a disaster. My Crisco had gone bad. It was cracked and smelled a bit off. But I'd gone to the trouble of mixing up everything else already, and it was too late to run out to the store... and... well, whatever. I tasted the batter, and it was rancid! I threw that rotten Crisco in and baked up a rotten cake. The stink of gone bad Crisco permeated my house. Yuck. But the cake looked so pretty, despite it's rank odor.
A few days later when Ian texted to say he was headed home from work I asked him to stop and pick up a bit of Crisco for my next try.
The only "problem" was a slight mixup. I accidentally poured in lemon extract when i was supposed to put in fresh squeezed lemon juice. Oh, well.
So, the difference the Crisco and perhaps the milk vs. whipping cream makes is this: The cake made with Criso is much lighter and fluffier with a crisper, crunchier, darker crust. The cake made without Crisco, has a dense, thick, rich, and moist cake with a light, moist crust. Guess which I prefer? Ian liked it. He said the Crisco one reminded him of the type his mother makes.
Paulette's Cold Oven Whipping Cream Pound Cake Recipe
Grease and flour a Bundt ban or coat it with cooking spray.
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of all purpose flour sifted three times
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp coconut extract
Having all ingredients at room temperature is ideal. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat carefully after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and whipping cream to the butter sugar, and eggs mixture.
Bake at 325 (Fahrenheit) for an hour and 15 minutes.
And this is the part that is always dicey for me. Let it cool completely in the pan, or invert it onto a cooling rack and let it cool that way? I never can remember. Ack. Sorry for the lack of instruction on this matter.