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Gift a gift made by your hands to your valentine

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Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, are you ready? That is the day I like to make something special for my sweetie. 

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He has always done sweet things for me, but I must admit, I would discover what he was going to do before he got the chance to present it.

In our first years of marriage, money was tight, so we gave each other small things. I would make a special dinner with a luscious dessert, and one time he gave me nail polish. It was so sweet, but unfortunately, I guessed it before he had the chance to surprise me.

Another time, in Connecticut, I saw this large ceramic goose in a special shop in our town. It was rather expensive. I talked about it so much that he wanted me to show it to him. I did, but his reply was that it was a little expensive. I knew that and accepted the fact that we could not buy it. We had five bedrooms in that house, one was a guest room that we used to store things in the closet. One day I was looking for a certain sewing box I had, so I went digging in that closet. Low and behold, there in the closet was my goose. He heard me yell and he came running, telling me I wasn’t supposed to look in there. Well, I didn’t know he had hidden something in there and I certainly wasn’t expecting to find that goose. I was thrilled and completely surprised.

So surprise your Valentine with something special that you made with your hands and from your heart. I give you:

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Raspberry Glaze and
Custard Sauce

1-½ cups butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. coconut extract

3 cups flour

1/8 tsp. salt

Seedless raspberry jam (regular or sugar free)

Custard sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat butter and cream cheese together for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one  at a time, beating until yellow disappears.  Add in vanilla and coconut extracts; mix well.

Combine flour and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture, about ½ cup at a time, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.  Fill a 2-cup oven-proof measuring cup or bowl with water and place in oven with tube pan. Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes; remove from pan and completely cool on wire rack.

Once cake is completely cooled, place cake on your favorite plate.  Heat Raspberry Jam in a microwave safe bowl in microwave for about 45 seconds or until melted.  Drizzle melted jam over top of cake. Set aside. Serve with custard sauce as desired.

Custard Sauce

Whisk together 2 cups buttermilk (that’s right), ½ cup sugar, 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 3 egg yolks in a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly so it doesn’t scorch, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract and ½ tsp. coconut extract. Remove from stove, then serve this warm or cold. Serve over glazed cake.

Enjoy! Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.