Battlepanda: The meltingly delicious cake of hate


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The meltingly delicious cake of hate

I woke up this morning with the worst craving for pound cake. Not just any pound cake. Anita Bryant's pound cake. "Anita Bryant?!?," you say, "you mean that hateful homophobic hag who destroyed her career hawking orange juice by being a hateful homophobic hag?" Yeah, that one. Of course, when I first discovered the recipe in a cookbook years and years ago, I had no idea about any of that. I just made it and it was the best, meltiest, most flavorful and fine-crumbed pound cake I've ever had. It was way more work than any other pound cake recipe. You had to whip the egg whites and then fold it in the stiff batter and add cream. There is also the mysterious but soothing presence of mace. Actually, I didn't really know about Bryant's non-culinary activities until relatively recently. All I could think about when I read her wikipedia entry was "this is the pound cake lady? Srsly?"

I actually no longer have that cookbook, "Beat this" by Ann Hodgeman. But thanks to the wonders of the internets, I was able to dig up the recipe, with the original commentary that I read in the cookbook I had. It makes a lot more sense now: "It was written back in Anita's Florida Orange Juice days, before all the Dade County stuff..."

If you can bring yourself to overcome the provenance of this recipe, I do highly recommend Anita Bryant's Pound Cake. Call it the hateful hag cake if you like. I would go and make it right now if my oven here in Taipei isn't a glorified toaster.


2-2/3 cups sugar
8 medium eggs, separated, at room temperature, or 7 large eggs
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup light cream or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-x-5-inch loaf pans.
Measure out 6 level tablespoons sugar into a cup or bowl. Beat the egg whites until they begin to form peaks; then gradually beat in the 6 tablespoons sugar. Place this sort-of meringue in the refrigerator until you need it.
In a large bowl, cream the butter well. Gradually beat in the rest of the sugar and the salt; then beat in the egg yolks, two at a time.
Add the flour and the cream alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the mace. Whip until the batter is as light as possible, about 10 minutes at medium speed. Then fold in the egg-white mixture and the vanilla. You'll feel as if you're trying to fold egg whites into cement, but persevere.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or just until a cake tester stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes; then invert onto the rack and re-invert onto another rack so the cake will cool right-side-up.
"It should fall 1 inch after taken from oven," says Anita in the book. "This gives desired waxy texture."

Yield Makes two 9-x-5-inch pound cakes

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