Volcanic Creature & Pound Cake

This week I recreated something I drew when I was twelve years old (20 years ago!!!). I remember I had a thick sketchbook with an orange cover, and one afternoon during summer vacation I drew this:

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It survived the last 20 years pretty well, with just a few light stains and one thumb tack hole.

Here is the recreation I made this week:

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I like Volcanic Creature because I made it at a time when I was better able to create interesting drawings purely from imagination. These days I tend to focus on painting real images and have a harder time creating fantastical scenes, animals or people. I think it’s something I lost somewhere along the way while growing up because I didn’t practice drawing enough. Hopefully it is a talent I can rediscover by drawing or painting a little everyday for this blog…

Here is another version of the Volcanic Creature that I made on the iPad using Paper by FiftyThree:

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As I mentioned in last week’s post, Paper enables me to draw while nursing my daughter, so you can expect many more drawings made with Paper in the future!

 

This week’s dessert is pound cake. I’m a big fan of plain-ish cakes that go well with a strong cup of tea, and I’ve never made pound cake before, so I thought I’d give it a try. The recipe I used is from a book that many of us have, How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.

Here is his recipe for pound cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I used ground nutmeg)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until it’s smooth. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar, beat until well blended, then add the remaining sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then beat in the vanilla until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients by hand just until smooth. Wash the beaters and then beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks (I’m not sure what that means! I just beat the egg whites for a few minutes and everything turned out just fine…), then fold them in gently but thoroughly. Place the batter into a buttered  9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 325 F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean.

Overall the process wasn’t too labour intensive–if you don’t have a crying baby and a toddler in need of distraction at the moment you’re trying to bake, then it probably won’t take you longer than 15 minutes to make the batter. But if you also forget that you were going to be baking some potatoes at the same you were about to bake the cake, then the batter may end up sitting on the counter for 45 minutes before getting its turn in the oven…It still turned out pretty good; moist, but a little too sweet for my taste.

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Nevertheless, cake is cake, and four adults, one toddler and one Saturday later it looked like this:

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6 thoughts on “Volcanic Creature & Pound Cake

  1. I remember that drawing! I know what you mean about imagination – that’s how poetry used to come to me, but I haven’t written a decent poem in years. I wonder if a prompt book would help? I read Stephen Fry’s book about poetry a few years ago and he had exercises to try, and they really got the poetry part of my brain working again.
    Cake looks yummy 🙂 The only separate-the-eggs- recipes I follow are the ones that use both the yolks and the whites, like this one. Otherwise what would you do with the yolks?

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    • I just scramble the yolks and eat ’em! Poetry is hard, but fun. You should definitely pick it up again, especially since it’s been so long, who knows what you’ll come up with after so many years!

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  2. Did you find that the pound cake was fluffier after having the batter sit out for 45 minutes? It looked pretty fluffy. 🙂 I have a banana bread recipie that becomes fluffier if it is left out for an hour before baking, but I’m not sure what the combination of ingredients is that does this.

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