2614 E. Lehigh Ave. 215.634.7344
"Excuse me. Did you bring that cake?" asked a woman I didn't know, interrupting my conversation at a party recently. She pointed over to the table, where the pound cake loaf lay ignominiously, icing side down, amid the Middle Eastern spread of hummus and grape leaves.
I had indeed brought the cake to the party, but this woman had a maniacal gleam in her eye and was tugging on my shirt so insistently that I wondered if I should admit it. Maybe I should make a run for it before this cake-deranged person unleashed her wrath. Had the cake somehow offended?
Before I had time to escape, she grabbed my arm. "Where did you get it?" she wanted to know. I told her my friend had bought it for me at Stock's in Port Richmond.
"I knew it!" she shrieked. "They made my wedding cake! I love Stock's!" Obviously, I had mistaken her enthusiasm for anger. Okay, alcohol was involved, but it's rare that a pound cake can elicit this type of reaction. Then again, Stock's cool, velvety version is a rare pound cake.
First of all, it's a pound cake but, according to manager and fourth-generation Stock, Kristine Stock-DeCarles, each loaf tips the scales at a substantial 2.5 pounds. The Stocks have been baking these cakes using the same recipe since 1924, when Stock-DeCarles' great-grandfather and grandfather opened the store. "Nothing changes," she warns, "or they come back to haunt us."
Stock's sells plain or marble pound cakes, either un-iced or frosted with chocolate or vanilla. Each loaf comes shrink-wrapped in plastic and then carefully folded up in plain paper like a gift. They also make larger versions of the pound cake that are popular as wedding cakes-so popular that Stock-DeCarlis remembers one bride who changed the date of her July wedding when she heard Stock's is closed during July.
A cake that holds this much influence over brides? A rare pound cake indeed.
Dinner with Luke Palladino