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I am so grateful that spring is finally here. I live in Philadelphia, which is in that part of the country that was viciously walloped by this winter’s polar vortex, and so I was starting to wonder if the cold weather was here to stay. Fortunately in the last couple weeks, the weather has warmed, there’s a bit more sunlight each day, and I can feel hopefulness radiating off of everyone I pass.
To my mind, there’s no better way to celebrate the return of this more-hopeful weather than with a homemade treat. If you feel the same way, let me suggest Trisha Yearwood’s Chocolate Pound Cake. It’s indulgent, but the texture is lighter than you find with other pound cakes, which makes it both celebratory and perfect for this time of year.
Whether you’re baking for an Easter celebration or just in need of something sweet with which to welcome the warmer weather, this cake is an ideal Weekender project.
Before you start baking, read these tips:
— Make sure to beat the butter, sugar and shortening together until they are truly fluffy, as it will give your cake lift and lightness. I let mine go in the mixer for a good three minutes.
— This is a big cake, so make sure to use the 10-inch tube pan Trisha recommends. If you don’t have one, scope out the bakeware section at your local thrift store: you can almost always find one or two there.
— Make this cake at least one day before you want to serve it. I found that the flavors deepened with an overnight rest.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her second cookbook, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, is now available.