Making Martha’s Cakes: How to Save a Cake

In all fairness, I strayed far, far, far from Martha’s recipe this week. I was overly-stimulated by the whimsy of the contestants on The Great British Baking Show and thought I’d be able to freestyle it. I’m sure if I’d laid out my baking plans to Judge Mary Berry beforehand, she would have given her most delicate frown and delivered a sweetly-packaged warning… something along the lines of, “It sounds delightful and troubling all at once.” or “I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that, but perhaps it’ll be scrummy!” or maybe just a plain old, “That sounds different. Good luck.” while quickly skirting herself away and hiding her mortification.

This was supposed to be a raspberry almond chocolate pound cake, but all the filling sank to the bottom. In the before photo, the cake is upside down so I could surveil the crime scene in more detail.

It certainly was scrummy. Michael and I devoured half of it while watching The Queen on Netflix. But I still am not permitted to put this in the win column, so back to the drawing board I go.

Stay tuned.

Making Martha’s Cakes: Martha Stewart’s Pound Cake

Pound Cake Recipe from TvFoodAndDrink.com
I was able to master Martha Stewart recipes before I understood the “Pulse” function on my food processor. I was still afraid of slow cookers when I was pulling perfect cookies out of the oven because of her. Martha deserves all her success. Her recipes are easy to follow, they never fail, and they make everyone happy.

I met Martha when she was a guest player on Hollywood Game Night, a show I helped produce. I was going to bring her muffins I made from one of her recipes, in a basket, bedded with a gingham cloth napkin. But I didn’t do it because I decided I would have felt guttted if she wasn’t visibly impressed. I learned my lesson when I met Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I wore my best form-fitting, striped shirt with metal-docked pearly-snap buttons. I was hoping he’d get wide eyed and compliment me, but all he said was, “Where’s Kleenex? I think I’m getting a cold.”

I’m sure anyone who invites Martha to their home frantically cleans it before hand. But she doesn’t really go into your bathroom and judge you. Before she ever walks in to someone else’s bathroom, before she’s ever halfway down the hallway, Martha Stewart is already thinking to herself, “My bathroom is better.” And she’s right. Martha has the best bathroom. If I was at Martha Stewart’s house, I bet I would think her bathroom was so nice, instead of using it, I’d excuse myself and sprint to the gas station.

Martha Stewart can make a poncho work. She can do anything. I once saw Martha Stewart convince Rosie O’Donnell to sample low-calorie dip. Rosie said it was “delectable,” and that was absolutely the wrong word choice, but Martha just smiled, like there’s no reason in the world it should have ever annoyed her.

Pound Cake Recipe from TvFoodAndDrink.com

Pound Cake Recipe from TvFoodandDrink.com

Pound Cake Recipe from TvFoodandDrink.com

Martha Stewart’s Basic Pound Cake

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, and more for pans
  • 1 pound (about three cups) AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

Preheat over to 325 F

Butter two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt

With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 8 minutes).  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Reduce speed to medium; beat in vanilla.  Add eggs in 4 batches, beating thoroughly after each and scraping down sides of bowl.  Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 4 batches, beating until just incorporated

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.  Tap pans on counter; smooth tops with an offset spatula.  Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 65 minutes.

Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes.  Turn cakes out onto rack to cool completely.

Serve with the whipped cream and macerated berries.

Whipped Cream Instructions

With an electric mixer (or by hand), whisk 1 cup cold heavy cream in a well-chilled bowl until soft peaks form.  Add up to 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (or leave out for unsweetened whipped cream), and whisk until medium-stiff peaks form.

For a lemon variation, decrease sugar to 1 tablespoon and add 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Macerated Berries

Combine 2 1/4 cups fresh berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice,  and let sit for 1 hour