It was recently my three year anniversary of this blog. Time sure does fly by! I really enjoy sitting down and writing about my cooking – baking – family – experiences – and fun. Although; the past two weeks I had a really hard time sitting down and writing. Brian has taken on a new project at work that means he has to travel a bit, I have started a new job, and there has been lots of planning for Brian’s birthday that is right around the corner. This is not just any birthday; this is his 40th, so there is definite reason for celebrating!
I know that a three year anniversary for the blog may not be as big as a 40th birthday, but I wanted to do something to honor it. I thought long and hard on what it should be. Not too fancy, nothing frilly, but just a little bit sweet and honorary. It made me think back to the cakes we had growing up. My mother would often bake us a cake. Yes it came from a box mix, but that was her way. My mother could make great lasagnas, tripe that the family would fawn over, soulful soups, meatloaves that make your mouth water, and bowls of pasta that are so comforting upon eating them you feel nothing but love. All of these things she made from scratch. I would sit with my sister in the kitchen and watched her chop her veggies, pour olive oil from the gallon tin she kept in the cabinet, she simmered and cooked away...she did it all. I guess you can say my sister and I learned from the best.
Baking is just not my mother’s forte. So I will let it slide that the cakes she made us always came from a box mix. It was always done with love like everything else she made. She always made her cakes in a pretty round bunt pan. As a child I always thought these pans rivaled a castle the way it had peeks and crevices. After depanning each cake she baked she dusted it powdered sugar. My sister and I would wait until she would cut us a slice and we would eat it with the powdered sugar sprinkling on us. It was joy! I loved each and every one of those cakes. I wanted another cake like that. One that was simple, with powdered sugar, and enough that made three years of blog writing more than worthy. I dug out my bunt pan that is similar to the one my mom has. I made a simple Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Pound Cake. When it came out of the pan I dusted it with powdered sugar and served it up with some fresh berries. No box mix in my kitchen to be had. I enjoyed it as the week grew on just like those cakes my mom made us. I just wish my mother and sister were here to share it with. Happy 3 years vagabond! Now off for more party planning for Brian.
Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Pound Cake (serve 10-12)
2 ½ cups of cake flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
¾ tsp of sea salt
8 oz of butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup of sugar
5 eggs, beaten
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/3 cup of buttermilk
First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour your bunt pan well and set aside. In a bowl combine you flour, baking powder, and sea salt and set aside.
Next, in the bowl of a standing mixer place your butter and sugar. With a paddle attachment mix it together until you mixture is light and fluffy. Add your eggs, extract, and vanilla bean seeds and mix on low until it is all well combined. You might want to stop a couple times and scrape down the sides of bowl and paddle to be sure it is evenly combined.
Then, slowly add you flour mixture to your butter mixture. Stir it until just combined. Follow that with your buttermilk. Stir it until your mixture is evenly moistened. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it across the top. Place it in the center of your oven and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour. Until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake upon testing.
Finally, let cake cool about 30 minutes. After cooling carefully run a knife along all the sides of the cake. Place a platter or plate over the top of the cake and gently flip the two together so your platter is now on your counter and the cake will depan onto it. You might need to tap the pan and bit or give it a jiggle, but is should come out in one smooth motion. Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve