[Note: You’re not normally going to see two posts in as many days from me. I’ve just had a bit of a pile up in the cake department and needed to get these posts out! I wrote this one while the next cake was baking.]
This cake was a gift for my friend BG. He recently passed quals (that is to say, he passed a very important test in grad school) and I saw this as the perfect excuse to make a cake.
I’m a big fan of brown sugar. I like the way it sticks together a little bit, the way it crumbles, the way it seems so soft. I like the way it holds the shape of the measuring cup after you’ve put it in the mixing bowl. Brown sugar is great! And MG told me how to improvise it if you happen to run out: 1 cup white sugar + 2 tablespoons of dark molasses, stir.
Here’s another tidbit I heard a few months back (not from MG): if your brown sugar is hard, seal it in a bag with a slice of apple. That should solve your problems. I’m not sure if it works- I haven’t tried it. I tend to use up my brown sugar before that can happen. But I’ve read that it will.
Enough about brown sugar. Remember the ratio for pound cake? 1:1:1:1- butter, sugar, eggs, flour. Here’s what went into the cake: 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, 1/2 cup shortening (I used crisco). 2 and 1/4 cup brown sugar (MG actually says to use one 16 oz box- 1 lb). 1/2 cup sugar. 5 large eggs, 3 cups flour. So that’s 1/2 pound butter plus about .21 lb shortening (~.75 pounds fats), a little more than 1 pound sugar, a little more than half a pound of eggs and almost a pound of flour.
OK, so that’s definitely not 1:1:1:1. But neither was the Man Catcher.
Mixed it all up as directed. It’s pretty simple, especially with my mixer. Poured the batter into a pan. I was supposed to put parchment paper on the bottom and still didn’t have any so I skipped that, but it came out perfectly fine. You can see the bottom because I took a picture of it before I flipped it back over.
There is an optional cream cheese frosting that you can make for this cake. I didn’t buy any cream cheese because I saw some in the fridge. I went to open the cream cheese and discovered that it was very, very bad. I looked at the date: best by October 2010! EWWWWWWWW. Talk about forgetting about something in the fridge! So I skipped the cream cheese frosting (which is very simple: cream cheese and powdered sugar).
And then I forgot to take more pictures. I took it to BG’s house and left it on the dining room table with a note that said “CONGRATS BG!” and left in a hurry for the wonderful, amazing Magic Castle!!
I did get to try some of this cake: I put a little bit in a small bowl and baked it for half of the time of the normal cake.
I thought it was pretty damn good. I thought the nuts were a very nice touch. I heard from BG, and and one his roommates who helped him eat the cake, and they seemed very pleased. BG said it was “simple and delish” and wrote a haiku for the occasion:
Dearest Morgan’s cake
makes me think candidacy
is worth a re-take!
Congrats again, BG!