Homearama jitters and a big ‘ol pound cake

Home Exterior at NightTheres a nerve-wracking moment in every Bundt cakes life that, no matter the outcome, ages the baker just a bit.

The aging takes place at themoment that the cake is invertedonto a serving plate and its revealed whether it stuck to the pan or is a success.

The outcome is either A or B; theres no middle ground.

Luckily, that moment usually takes place in the privacy of our own kitchens.

Ill experience this tonite at Homearama where Ill be handing out homemade amaretto cake and chatting up the public.

Its a repeat performance of sorts.

A few years ago, in honor of Miz Paula Deens show at The Ted, I baked two cakes (using 2 pounds of butter, in her honor).

The foyer of The Ted that day was filled with vendors, including us.

At The Pilots booth, I passed out more than 100 pieces of cake in no time. That first cake I had turned onto a cake pedestal before coming to the show.

With just crumbs left on the plate, it was time to learn if cake No. 2 which had been baked in an intricately creased pan was a success.

Our booth was right at the front door. The place was packed, and I had no choice but to complete the operation before the endless flow of foodies who were filing past.

I loosened the sides of the cake from the pan with a cake server, the only tool at hand. Then, as a sprinkling of people stopped to watch (one wise woman crossed her fingers), I inhaled and turned the cake over.

No movement. Nothing. It was like the pan and the cake were one.

I shook the pan a bit. A little progress. Then, the cake gods smiled upon me and the masterpiece emerged.

That was devoured in no time.

This is my go-to cake for traveling. Its from my 1987 splattered, tattered copy of New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, the back cover burned off ages ago. And beware: This is a huge family-reunion sized cake.

Really, make a copy of this one

Here goes, and dont forget the prayers at the end! And if you’re at Homearama tonite, stop by for a slice!

Amaretto Cake
1 pound butter softened, not melted
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
4 cups white flour
cups milk
1 cup amaretto
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously butter and flour at 10-inch Bundt pan.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and extract and mix well.

Blend in 2 cups of flour. Combine milk and cup amaretto, and stir into the batter mixing well. Add the rest of the flour and the baking powder, mixing well. Fold in the almonds. Pour the finished batter into the pan.

The recipe says to bake for an hour, but Ive never baked this cake in a regular oven for less than 90 minutes. In my convection oven, it does take about 1 hour.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then pour the remaining cup of amaretto over the warm cake. Let it soak in and then pray, and invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Lorraine Eaton writes about food and spirits for The Virginian-Pilot. Look for her stories in www.hamptonroads.com/flavor. And find recipes posted by Lorraine.Visit her Facebook page, too.