And WHY am I still in the kitchen?
December 23, 2009
It is Christmas Eve Eve, and I now remember why I don’t bake much. When I get started, I can’t stop.
You will recall last night I made two kinds of cookies, and fixed treat boxes, because I was quite certain there was someone I needed to give something to that I’d forgotten. So far, I have not remembered who that is.
Tonight, after we got off early, I came home and made an eggnog pound cake for Christmas dinner/day-after-Christmas brunch. And it smelled so good, and I’ve got the eggnog, so I’m making another one, because I can bake it up in little loaf pans and it’ll make a nice gift for a couple of friends I know I’ll see in Memphis.
Oh, and I’m going to make some sweet potato bread because I was browsing (browsing recipe sites=the wireless version of crack) and found it and it sounded SO good. I’m going to make it and let it rise tonight, punch it down and put it in loaf pans and put it in the fridge. And then I’m going to get up and take it out and let it rise the second time in the morning and bake it, so we can eat one loaf and take the other two to Memphis. Just because.
This eggnog cake? From the Simply Recipes blog, and if y’all are not subscribed there, you should be, because these people? Can flat COOK. I was in the notion for an eggnog cake, because it just sounded good, albeit I’ve never had one, and when I googled for recipes that site popped up, and I said, “Well, allRIGHTy then!” and looked no further. Because all their recipes are good. And because while I can’t cut this one, since it’s for Christmas dinner, I can certainly testify the batter is excellent. I followed the recipe slavishly, except that I used brandy ‘sted of dark rum, because I had it and I could.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/2 cup dried currants, raisins or cranberries
- 2 Tbsp dark rum or water
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup eggnog mixed with 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
- 3 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp dark rum
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Soak currants in rum in a small bowl for 15 minutes.
Adjust rack to lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F (350°F if the pan doesn’t have a dark finish). Butter a 9 to 10 inch bundtpan (original recipe calls for a Festive Cake Pan).
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, 30-45 seconds. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5
minutes. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
At very low speed, add dry ingredients in 4 additions, alternating with eggnog (begin and end with dry ingredients). Scrape bowl
occasionally. Gently fold in orange zest, currants and any remaining rum.
Spoon batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 55-65 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center and pulls away
from the sides of the pan. You can also use a long toothpick or thin bamboo skewer and insert into the thickest part of the cake. If it
comes out clean, it’s done.
Remove from oven and cool upright in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
Prepare glaze by blending together sugar, orange juice, and rum.
Invert cake onto a rack, over a sheet of waxed paper. Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the cake with the glaze. Cool completely
The sweet potato bread is as follows:
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, mashed
- 3 Tbls. melted butter
- 1 cup milk, scalded
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 cups flour, sifted
In a large bowl, soften yeast in the lukewarm water. Blend mashed sweet potatoes with melted butter until light and fluffy. Add with milk, salt, and sugar to yeast. Beat until light.
Stir in with a wooden spoon, enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Put in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Set in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Shape into 3 loaves and place in greased pans (9x5x3). Let rise to the top of the pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven until golden brown.
Does that not sound just astounding? I haven’t gotten started on it yet, which I guess I should do. While it’s thunderstorming outside.
Thunderstorming. On Christmas Eve Eve. Go figger. And you and y’mama ‘n ‘em have a wonderful holiday.