Saturday, January 2, 2010

Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Be Wonderful... Or Not?

Have you experienced one of those quirky and almost bothersome days where you've fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning only to find yourself waking up less than 5 hours later, and realizing you can't seem to return to slumber land no matter how snug and cozy you try to be or how much personal meditation you place on falling asleep again? And to make things worst, it's the weekend.

Last night was one such night. It's times like these that you wish the big, fuzzy Z monster was lying under your bed ready and waiting to pounce on you and cradle you to dreamland.

After the whole week of festive eating - or gorging I must admit, I was awoken early at the crack of dawn only to find myself feeling somewhat nauseous. Perhaps the nasty aftermath of a holiday-season gormandizing extravaganza.

And since my early awakening has given me so much time to kill before my tea and dinner date with Matt later on, I was contemplating whether to assume the passive role of a couch potato and check out the New Year programs on the telly, or spend some time in my pastry lab (despite the odd bout of queasiness in me).

Well, I decided to multi-task. Us girls all excel in that, don't we darlings?

There's a certain calming quality about an old-fashioned pound cake that reminds me of simple pleasures and classic breakfast or teatime treats. Kids love it, grannies adore it, and so does everyone else in-between. And I guess I've had one too many decadent meals these past couple of days that a simple cake will suffice.

This morning, I've made mine with a slight earth brown marbling of dark chocolate, which I find so appealing against the pale custardy tones of the traditional batter. Adding a handful of freshly-grated lemon zest also gives the cake a zingy, citrus touch that works excellently with the bittersweet chocolate. And I just love the crisp, faintly burnt crust that evokes such a wonderful aromatic smokiness when paired with its light, fluffy interior of moist cake crumbs.

As much as I have always agreed with Mae West that too much of a good thing can be wonderful, I think this festive season has convinced me that no matter how gratifying holiday meals can be, I'll somehow or another find myself running back and finding gastronomic solace in the simple pleasures of everyday comfort food...


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