Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Celebrate Kenneth Grahame's Birthday with an Irish Pound Cake

Kenneth Grahame (March 8, 1859-1932)
There is nothing-absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats.
Rat speaking in Chapter 1
"Wind in the Willows", a children's classic, was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908. It is a book that can be read more than once enjoying the adventures of the main characters Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger down by the riverbanks.
Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish writer who was most famous for this book and "The Reluctant Dragon". Grahame, a retired banker from The Bank of England, often spent his free time down by the River Thames doing much as the characters in his book would do-namely boating. He originally wrote the stories of Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Badger as bedtime stories for his son Alistair. When the book was finally published and in its 31st printing, the famous playwright A.A. Milne, who loved the story adapted part of it for the stage as Toad of Toad Hall in 1929.
My all time favorite chapter of the book is when the arrogant, shrewd, self-absorbed but mischievous Toad figures out how to steal a motorcar.

The world has held great heroes,
as history books have showed.
But never a name to go down to fame
compared with that of Toad.
Toad speaking in Chapter 10 
Need to refresh your memory of Toad's adventures or just want to read a chapter from Wind in the Willows to see what Toad is all about? Follow this link to Chapter 8

Baileys' Irish Cream Pound Cake
Cook's notes: This cake is loaded with flavor and very moist. The drizzle of icing over the cake is the best part of this recipe. I guarantee you will be licking the bowl!
Recipe from lemontreedwelling.com
Loaf Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Baileys' Irish Cream
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 TB. Baileys' Irish Cream (may need more to reach icing desired consistency)
  • 1 TB. cocoa powder 
Loaf Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a standard size loaf pan.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl beat butter about 30 seconds, gradually add in sugar and beat about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time and mix well.
  • In another bowl combine sour cream and Bailey's, stir well to mix
  • Alternate the flour mixture with the sour cream mixture and the butter mixture, beating after each addition just until combined.
  • Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and invert to a wire rack. 
Glaze Directions:
  • Use a whisk and blend all ingredients until smooth.
  • Drizzle icing over cooled loaf or drizzle icing over each slice.

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