Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cherry Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is officially my consummate pound cake. All the other pound cakes I've made pale in comparison. I shall write sonnets about this cake. This will be my afternoon tea-casual brunch- last minute dinner-party-everyday-cake. Everyone needs a cake like this in their arsenal.
Fact: Cream cheese makes everything delicious and this cake is no exception to this rule of life. The cream cheese in this recipe contributes a fine, even crumbed texture and a moist interior as well as a subtly tangy flavour that balances what would otherwise be all sweetness and no bite.
the almond extract contributes a subtle, well-rounded flavour that complements the inherent nuttiness of the cream cheese and underscores the sweetness of the dried cherries. You could leave the cherries out if you wanted....this is The Consummate Pound Cake and it doesn't rely on gimmicks, but hey, why not gild the lily with plump dried cherries that add chewy spots of brightness to a delectable cake. Add a dusting of powdered sugar, and you are ready for any occasion that requires an afternoon tea-casual brunch- last minute dinner-party-everyday-cake.

Cherry Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

makes one 10-inch Bundt cake
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped, if desired
  • 3 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. If desired plump cherries in 2 tablespoons kirsch or hot water for 20 minutes. (I skipped this step as my dried cherries were pretty soft already.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to blend and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour mixture at low speed, mixing just until blended. add the cherries (and any remaining liquid), and mix until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. bake the cake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
  6. Unmold the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.
  7. Dust the cake lightly with confectioners sugar right before serving.
  8. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Adapted from: The Cake Book By Tish Boyle

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