Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. If you spent the holiday in New England, I hope winter storm Cato didn’t put a damper on your holiday. We took off for Delaware a day earlier than anticipated because of the forecast, and I’m so happy we did. We got word that nearly a foot of wet, heavy snow fell in Portland, leaving thousands of homes without power.
This storm is the first bout of weather that resembles November in Alaska since we moved to the East Coast six weeks ago. Mainers have been wringing out every drop of autumn in their spare time and despite the extended season, it seems this limbo doesn’t sit with Mainers well. There is ice fishing and snow machining just waiting to be experienced. Here’s something for your next trivia night: apparently, a snow machine is a regionalism, only said in AK. It doesn’t refer to a machine that makes sharp, icy shards of snow on a ski mountain, rather a machine on which you ride through snow. On the East Coast, it’s called a snow mobile.
Last weekend, before the great snowstorm, we visited the Portland Head Light, one of the most iconic of Maine’s fifty seven active lighthouses. The day was beautiful; the air was crisp, the sky clear, the breeze salty and clean. There was a steady stream of people visiting the lighthouse. Chris and I talked about the draw of people to historical places, specifically lighthouses. We wondered if it has something to do with a subconscious desire to move towards light–towards hope–towards safety.
Right after our lighthouse excursion, we grabbed a doughnut from the well-known Portland eatery, The Holy Doughnut. This place is one of the must-go-to-places when you come to Portland. This place has crazy-awesome doughnuts. They’re pretty dense because they’re made with potatoes. At Tim Hortons, Krispy Kreme, or Dunkin’s, I’ve always gone for the Old Fashioned–dense, cakey, no glaze. At this place, all the doughnuts are like old fashioned doughnuts, but they do have glaze on them. For all you savory food lovers, they also have…are you ready for it?! A bacon and cheese stuffed doughnut!! On their website, you’ll find what they’re all about:
At The Holy Donut, we…
- Use real Maine potato in all our donuts!
- Use local dairy
- Use pure cane sugar only
- Use only unbleached King Arthur flour
- Color our glazes with only fruit juices or vegetable dyes, no fake colors
- Use the highest quality dark cocoa powder and 60% dark chocolate chips in all chocolate donuts and glazes
- Never uses fake sweeteners, high fructose corn syrups or hydrogenated oils (all donuts cooked in 100% Canola oil)
- Donate to local schools whenever fundraising opportunities/auctions/teacher breakfasts arise
- Support the ‘Bicycle Benefits’ campaign – ride your bike here and receive a free donut (once you’ve bought a Bicycle Benefits sticker to put on your helmet)
- Believe donuts can be wholesome and made with healthy ingredients and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious
A wholesome doughnut through and through?! I’ll take it! In fact, I’ll take one of every flavor!
Of course, this was all the inspiration I needed to make something similar in my own kitchen. I love the fact that potatoes are used in sweet, baked goods. I thought potatoes would be good in a pound cake, the same concept as Holy Doughnut. I made a vanilla-buttermilk glaze for the top (not pictures below because it was an afterthought after we devoured a quarter of the cake). The cake initially turned out to be a little denser than I wanted it to be because I made the mistake of over beating the gluten and I baked it in a deep pan. Yes, I’m constantly making those types of mistakes when I bake, and I forever will. Lemon zest and cardamom lightens it up a bit because the cake is naturally a little dense even without over-beaten gluten.
- 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Zest of one lemon
- 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1½ cups riced potatoes
- For the Glaze:
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once eggs are incorporated, beat in buttermilk, lemon zest, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl,combine the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom.
- Add flour mixture to egg-sugar mixture alternately with riced potatoes. Beat just until combined. Don't worry if the batter looks a little stiff.
- Pour into a greased and floured bundt cake pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For glaze, heat ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup superfine sugar over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. If you want a thicker glaze, continue cooking until the glaze is thick to your liking. Remove the pot from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Let the glaze sit until it's cooled to room temperature before drizzling it over the cake