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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tonight's Menu

I'm back home for Easter with the folks (God bless my single Monday-Wednesday class!) For fun, here's what we're eatin' for Easter dinner:

Ham with ginger-orange glaze
Peas and pearl onions
Slow-cooked butterbeans
Homemade potato salad
Sister Schubert's dinner rolls

Lemon meringue pie
7-Up pound cake with strawberries

Recently, my Mom got me to listen to a bit by this comedienne, Jeanne Robertson. In that bit, she describes sending her left-brained spouse to the store for the makings of 7-Up pound cake. Having never tried a loaf of any sort - meat, bread, or otherwise - and being somewhat curious about a cake baked with 7-Up, I had to try. The recipe comes straight from Texas and it's mighty tasty.

Update: your humble blogger Grotus' Acorn has apparently been visited by Jeanne Robertson herself. You can read the whole story of her left-brained husband, the 7-Up pound cakes, and his trip to the grocery store on her website. Also there is her recipe (pdf) for the cake itself. The two recipes differ slightly - Mrs. Robertson uses lemon flavoring, whereas the Texans use almond flavoring - but are basically the same. I'll certainly have to try hers sometime soon.

Here's to you, Mrs. Robertson: heaven holds a place for those who bake. Hey, hey, hey.

7 UP Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

5 eggs, at room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 7 UP

Get your bundt pan (or a couple loaf pans.) Grease and flour it up. Preheat your oven to 300.

In an electric stand mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, shortening, and extracts until they're smooth and creamy (until the sugar is dissolved in the fat.) I put the mixer on medium-high and let it beat the hell out of the mixture for six or eight minutes. When that's ready, add in a single egg, and mix it in well. Repeat with the other four. Then, alternate adding dry ingredients (flour/salt) and wet ingredients (7-Up,) adding just a little bit each time and making sure they've mixed well before you add the next bit. This, I think, is the tricky key step. If you beat your batter too long it could get tough, but you don't want all the flour in there at once, either. When everything is added in, your batter will be thick, smooth and glistening. Pour it right into the pan and pop it in the oven.

In about an hour and a half, your cake should have puffed up a significant amount, and should be sporting a deep golden brown crust. Poke right through with a toothpick - if it comes out clean, take that sucker out. If not, well, could take up to an hour and forty-five. At least, according to the Texans from whom I lifted a recipe. Mine was done in an hour thirty-five.

Let your cake cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes. Then, invert a plate on top of the cake, pick up the whole shebang and flip it onto the plate. If you greased your pan well enough and waited long enough, it should pop right out onto the plate.

If you want to put a nice glaze on the cake, boil a 1/4 cup of 7-Up with a 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar's dissolved. Poke some holes on top of your cake with a toothpick, let the glaze cool just a little until it's a sticky syrup, and pour it all over your cake. Perfect.

The cake comes out a delicious middle-ground between cake and your typical pound cake. It's still dense, but it positively melts in your mouth. And the flavor is fantastic - 7-Up and almond flavor work better than I would have guessed. It would be a lot of fun to mess around with different flavor combinations: ginger beer plus orange or strawberry and chocolate plus cherry Coke would top my list. Dr. Pepper? Birch beer? Cream soda? Lots of possibilities with this recipe.

Naturally, the 7-Up pound cake it was a hit. Here she is, all gussied-up but half-devoured:

I cut up some strawberries, which will marinate in sugar until they join the cake tomorrow:

Happy Easter, y'all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correction. "Straight from North Carolina." Not Texas. :)
Glad you enjoyed hearing my story about the 7-Up Pound Cake. For more on the story go to and see what "Taste of the South" Magazine wrote about it.
Keep 'am laughing!