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Pound Cake and Tipsy Cake recipes

It’s a funny old world when your tipsy but not drunk . . .

Pound CakeNo I am not sat on my veranda quaffing copious amounts of a nice dessert wine . . . well I might be, but that’s besides the point!

Once in a while, life has a way of playing funny, little tricks on us and so it was with me this week. Four email inquiries came in and all, in a peculiar way were linked:

  • Joan S wrote to David asking for a recipe for pound cake.
  • Brian P from Canada wrote asking me if I had ever heard of drunk cake.
  • Mal O meanwhile emailed me looking for the answer to a crossword puzzle . . . the answer was not drunk cake as I thought it might have been, but tipsy cake.
  • After Mal emailed me back after finding the answer to the last one, I get another email asking me for a recipe for Tipsy Cake!

For those of you that have managed to follow the plot so far and are wondering . . . “yeah, but what about the pound cake?” Well, tipsy cake is made from a stale pound cake!

What is it out there with everyone? Is there a party going on that they have failed to invite me to . . . or is this just Mr Fate, just having a bit of a giggle at my expense?

Not to mention of course David saying last week he could use some more sweet recipes. “Hmmmmm” I thought to myself, “looks like I have this week’s cooking column sorted out if nothing else”. This week then, I am going to give you the recipe for pound cake plus the instructions for making tipsy cake . . . but wait there’s more! Next week’s column will be a follow up article on how to make Drunk Cake or as they call it in the original Mexican / Spanish Bolo Bjbado.


Why pound cake? It was named originally because this cake was made with one pound (as in the old imperial measurement) each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, creating a dense, moist loaf. In this recipe, I use some grated lemon rind for added flavour and some baking powder to aid in the leavening.

I once had a trainee chef ask me what in the recipe I had given him, were oozes? Confused I looked at it, and then it dawned on me he meant ounces!

Ingredients for Pound Cake

unsalted butter



castor sugar



lemon zest






soft flour



baking powder






How to make Pound Cake

  • Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon rind, and salt
  • Sift together the cake flour and baking powder
  • To the butter mixture, add the eggs alternately, in three stages with the flour
  • Pour into greased and floured cake tins (or lined with parchment paper)
  • Bake at (170ºC) until cooked
  • Remove from the cake tin, turn upside down and place on a cooling rack

Chef's Tip for Pound Cake

To find out more about lining cake tins, how to tell if they are cooked and tips on cake baking <click here>


The variations on this cake are endless and the history of it even more so. Every country it would seem has its own variation on the theme.

For mine, I have based it on the oldest version of it I could find on researching it; circa 1745 and it is not so much a cake as we know it today, but more like a version of the English trifle. Tipsy cake, it would seem, as with trifle was designed for using up any stale pound cake.

The only recipe that is needed is the one above for pound cake, after that it is very much a case of using the ingredients to taste.

How to make Tipsy Cake

  • Cut the pound cake into slices and soak generously with a sweet dessert wine or sherry
  • Arrange these slices around the sides of a wine glass (leaving a 2 centimetre gap to the top)
  • Place an amount of finely chopped almonds in the bottom of the glass
  • Cover with a spoonful of jam or mincemeat mix (as for Xmas mince pies)
  • Fill the glass to 1 cm of the top with warm custard: for a fresh Crème Anglaise recipe (see below)
  • Top with whipped cream and garnish with blanched almonds

Chef's Tip for Tipsy Cake

Try replacing the wine/sherry with rum, Kahlua, Grand Marnier or another of your favourite spirit or liqueur


Ingredients for Crème Anglaise

egg yolks



castor sugar









vanilla pod



How to make Crème Anglaise

  • Place the yolks and sugar into a bowl whisk until almost white
  • Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add both pod and seeds to the milk, bring to the boil and remove the pod
  • Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding half the hot milk to it while constantly stirring
  • Stir the tempered egg mixture into the remaining hot milk, and continue to cook over a medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon
  • Pass and keep warm in a bain marie or place in chiller and use cold
  • Never attempt to reboil Crème Anglaise, due to its delicate nature it will curdle

Chef's Tip for Crème Anglaise

When making crème Anglaise with fresh vanilla it is also nice to leave the vanilla seeds in; it leaves an attractive finish to the ice cream and shows the customers that fresh vanilla was used. However this is a personal choice.

When using a Crème Anglaise as a sauce it can be made thicker by replacing half the milk with cream. Crème Anglaise can also be used as a base for other dishes. Such as bavarois, ice creams and some types of parfaits.

To this basic sauce can be added endless essences and flavourings (when boiling milk) to make other sauces.

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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