Birthday, Poundcake and Van Halen

Epistula est mea divisa in partes tres.*

My post is divided into three parts. Birthday, Cake and Van Halen.

Birthday: because it is my brother’s birthday soon and so cake is naturally in order.

Cake: not just any cake, but Poundcake because it was my brother who introduced me to Van Halen and one particularly iconic VH song was Poundcake (electric drill to play a guitar anyone?).

Van Halen: because VH are back, new single, new album but still Van Halen. It’s enough to make you want to dance the night away…

Van Halen, I like them a lot and muchly and even more. The last two or so weeks have been very exciting if you are a VH fan. There wasn’t much news coming from the VH camp, a new album was whispered to be released at some stage (the first in fourteen years) and then suddenly…BAM! New single! Exclusive gig! New tour! New album name and release date! It left you reeling like the Joker after Batman had seen to him (Adam West style). What’s more (and this is the really good part) Eddie’s playing like we all know he can (glad to have you back with us Ed, you’ve been missed), Dave’s voice is sounding amazing and the new single is actually good. Last time I recall new VH material it was the Hagar songs for the 2004 Best of Both Worlds. While they weren’t terrible, they weren’t anywhere near close to VH’s best stuff with Sammy (yes, there is good stuff with Sammy, as I mentioned here I don’t subscribe to the notion of liking just one version of VH). This time around the new stuff (Tattoo) is actually good. In fact it is better than good, lyrically it’s classic Diamond Dave and Eddie’s playing is just so very enjoyable to hear. Tattoo (together with the performance of She’s the Woman from the Cafe Wha? gig) make me proper excited for the new album. I am literally counting down the days till A different kind of truth is released. The only thing that could make it even better would be a tour date in the UK…

So, cake to celebrate because there is cause for celebration. There was celebration for the birthday of my most awesome brother, a celebration that he was the one who turned me to to VH and a celebration that there was new VH material to enjoy. My recipe for Poundcake is a modified version of Isa’s from Veganomicon (no blitzed tofu, too much faff for a Sunday, no citrus kick and increased vanilla). I then coated the cooled cake with loosened jam, fondant and painted it with edible tint.


1 cup soy yoghurt (stir well before measuring)

1/2 cup soy milk

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat the oven to 160*C and prepare the loaf tin (mine was approximately 8″ x 4″).
  • In a bowl (larger would be better) mix the first five ingredients for a good couple of minutes. This will feel like a long time but it helps the ingredients co-operate for the sake of the cake (oil and milk aren’t naturally friendly and don’t mix well without help).
  • Sift in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine (little lumps are ok, even if there are a lot of little lumps – you don’t want to over mix the batter and work the gluten too much, this will result in a tough cake).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and cook for 60 minutes. It may take a 5-10 minutes longer, bear in mind it’s a low heat hence the longer cooking time.
  • Once it’s cooked let it cool in the tin for about ten minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack where it can finish cooling completely.

At this point I painted the cake with warmed, loosened jam, rolled out the fondant (mine was red) and applied it to the cake. To do this I followed this video and then this video to decorate the Poundcake. 

Thus it was that the Frankencake was born:**


The only thing left to do is to properly wish my brother a happy birthday. So:

Little Brother here’s to a most awesome birthday,


Lizzie x


*Nearly every time I hear or read that something is divided into three parts I think of the first line of Julius Caesar’s Commentariorum de Bello Gallico (Commentary of the Gallic Wars). This post is in three parts, hence the homage to Caesar. I couldn’t help it, I’m a nerd.

**This is the first time I’ve ever covered a cake with fondant and painted with edible tints. Being I’m more a pencil girl when it comes to art, I think I did alright for a first time!

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