With all the joy, excitement and thrill of having all the kids home, our Christmas was tinged with some sadness. My husband’s youngest brother was diagnosed with cancer. On Christmas day he was admitted to the hospital. Initially his doctor said it was in his lungs. After further examination it was discovered that his stomach, and liver were involved as well. In September my sister-in-law passed after a seven year battle with MS and cancer. That’s not the end of the BIG C story in the family. An older brother succumbed to prostrate cancer years ago, and there’s another brother that also has lung cancer. It’s pretty scary to know that four of his five siblings have been stricken with this wretched disease. Yet we remain faithful and I’m making sure that my husband is getting regularly checkups and takes nothing for granted.
The last thing we needed was something else sweet. Our house is still covered in a gigantic blanket of leftover sweets. However, for me baking is therapy and I craved the solitude of my oven and mixer. We had so many over the top sweets over the holidays that were drenched, dunked or filled with white chocolate, milk and dark chocolate. Cookies in unheard of amounts, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Pie, and candy up the wazoo. Our dentists will probably erect statues in our honor. Now what I wanted was something simple, satisfying and comforting. Nothing fits that bill more to me than pound cake. I chose an Almond Sour Cream one from the Queen of Butter; Paula Deen. The first modification I made was the addition of vanilla extract. Vanilla makes everything better and I don’t like to bake without it. I even add it to pancake batter. I also baked it in a bundt rather than a tube pan and glazed it.
I like to glaze my pound cakes while they’re still hot and vunerable. The finish is like that of a glazed donut. Just enough to add a little sweetness without distracting from the taste of the cake. Please give this moist cake a try when you want to satisfy a sweet tooth without going over the top and please keep my family in your prayers.
½ pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ tsp baking soda
½ orange extract
½ almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare the pan with either flour and shortening, flour and butter, or pan grease and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together and then add sour cream. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture, alternately with eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add flavorings and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool cake in pan for about 10 minutes. Unmold and glaze immediately with 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar, ½ tsp of vanilla and enough water to make it thin enough to brush on and seep in. There’s a fine line you’re working with here so add the water a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too thin you’ll end up adding lots more powdered sugar to thicken it.