As may be evident by my recent posts, I’ve baked hardly a thing this summer. It’s been lovely and blissful, in its own way, to not turn the oven on. Instead I’ve thrown all that energy I would for baking into making ice cream and other frozen treats. (I have one more frozen treat recipe to share, for now.) One of the last things I baked before the summer heat settled in was Shirley’s perfect pound cake.
It’s a tall order to call something perfect and this pound cake is just so. In a chat on Twitter that I had with Shirley the first time I made her recipe, she told me that one of her readers had used it to make a birthday cake. So not only is it a perfect pound cake, but also perfect for all occasions as it is flexible. Like many gluten-free folks, Shirley uses a custom-made, gluten-free flour blend. I’ve yet to use a gluten-free flour blend – whether one made from scratch with someone’s recipe or my own, or store-bought – so I converted the amount with an equal ratio of cornstarch and brown rice flour (the only kind of rice flour I had on hand at the time), based on Shirley’s flour blend, and it worked really well.
Every time I’ve made it, the pound cake has been finished within one or two days (usually only making it to the second day if I’ve saved some and hidden it away).
I was so excited to hear about this fabulous dessert topping from Mrs. S., one of the Moms who have made some of the recipes listed on Z’s Cup of Tea, that I had to try it – Thank You, Mrs. S!
If you’re looking for a great alternative to whipped cream, MimicCreme Healthy Top is the perfect substitute. My whole family loves it! It’s like a cross between whipped cream and marshmallow and it’s a cinch to whip up. Made with cashews, almonds, and coconut oil, it’s dairy-free and soy-free, but it doesn’t taste nutty or like coconut at all, and it’s not too sweet, either.
Use it as you would use whipped cream to accompany something. (It’s not suitable for freezing or cooking with, according to the instructions.) We’ve served it with fresh berries (raspberries go especially well with the Healthy Top’s flavour) and my brother has also blended it with strawberries to make a kind of milkshake that, in his words, “is like a milkshake you would find in a fast food restaurant”. It’s just as thick, too. It’s also great to use as a topping for pie.
The Olympics are over and those of us who watched are still coming down from a mixture of nerve-wracking high energy and emotions from watching and rooting for athletes from around the world that inspired us all.
Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was deserving of its name, Isles of Wonder, and it was inspiring. I’m not the only one who thinks he deserves a knighthood. Outside of sports, it was a definite highlight – with James Bond and the Queen being a particular favourite for many. (I wish I could find a video to link, but no such luck. They’ve been taken down.) The closing ceremony didn’t exactly live up to the anticipation leading up to it, I think, but there were its highlights for everyone. For me, it was Russell Brand singing a cover of “I Am the Walrus” and Eric Idle’s performance of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Footage of Freddie Mercury on a video screen was unexpected and masterfully done as he roused an audience of 80,000 (and more from the world over) in a call-and-response before Brian May broke into his guitar solo.
Celebrating British and Olympic spirit, the idea for this ice cream was inspired within the first few days of the Olympics but it wasn’t until after it was done that I made it. Inspired by Eton mess, a classic British dessert named after the boys’ prestigious school where it was created, this ice cream has strawberries cooked into a jam and swirled into a custard base with meringue cookies (made from scratch and sweetened with honey) crumbled into it.