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Fennel & Almond Pound Cake with Sambuca Syrup

by Laura on February 25, 2011

I used to love that little pinch of fennel seed and rainbow-colored licorice candy as I paid the check at our favorite Indian restaurant.  Rory Gilmore ruined it for me with her, well, I’ve posted it below for those willing to risk never being able to enjoy his or her little pinch again.

From The Gilmore Girls
Mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore discuss the progress of Rory’s date…
Lorelai: So the guy’s a dud?
Rory: Trevor’s fine, I’m moronic, I bring the conversation to a crashing halt every time I speak.
Lorelai: Where is he now?
Rory: In the bathroom, probably pondering my brilliant anecdote about urine mints…
Lorelai: What?
Rory: You know, when people go to the bathroom and they don’t wash their hands and they come out and take a mint.
Lorelai: [gasp] Oh my God, I’ve been eating those mints for years!

(See what I mean?)

I love all things licorice, so I always looked forward to it.  I suppose I could go out and buy myself a box of Good & Plenty, but I never have.  And I never buy licorice either, don’t know why.  My Dear Husband has a theory about time and place and the pleasure of serendipity.  We didn’t grow up in the digital age, so if you missed the A Charlie Brown Christmas because you were naughty or because your mom talked too long at church on Wednesday night (ugh), it was over.  Over.  You had to wait a year to see it again.  Today, you could pull out your DVD copy and watch it any night, and, sadly, it’s not quite as magical anymore for just this reason.  Stumble on something, or wait for it, and it’s imbued with a little magic.  So, even though I knew that I could always have that little pinch of candy every time we went out for Indian, it was still a taste I had to wait for, and one made special by time and place.  My Dear Husband still throws back a handful at the little hostess desk, but I just can’t.  (Did you read the scene?  You know it’s true.)  Well, I was sipping a little glass of sambuca recently, the Italian anise-flavored liqueur, thinking about how madly in love with licorice I really am, when it occurred to me to drown a pound cake in the stuff (not really).  The beauty of the Indian candy is the pairing of the fennel seed with the licorice, so I decided to grind some fennel seed for the cake.  Ooh, it’s good.  (Little dance here.)  Now I (and you) can enjoy a slice of this cake, which has its own little bit of magic: dreaming it up, making it myself, and remembering the seven years my now-all-grown-up Honey Girl and I watched Gilmore Girls together.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sophia February 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Urine mints, haha! Made my day! On a separate note, the pound cake sounds delicious!

2 Karen February 27, 2011 at 11:36 am

Very beautiful and inspired. I’d like an extra-thick slice of cake…

3 Laura February 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Oh, you’re so kind!

4 alyce February 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Love the idea of fennel-flavored poundcake.

5 Kris Jacobson February 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I love licorice too. I get black licorice ice cream. One of my favs. The poundcake sounds delish. We watched “The Gilmore Girls” at our house too. I was sad when it was over. And I was just thinking about a similar “Charlie Brown Christmas” analogy.

6 Laura February 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ooh, black licorice ice cream sounds good! We’ll have to make some sometime.

7 Viki March 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

The pound cakes look oh so good, what size pans did you use?

8 Laura March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Thank you! I used 10-inch pans.

9 briarrose March 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

Beautiful loaves! I love the flavors.

10 Laura March 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

Oh, thank you!

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