Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Creative Cooking...Cream Cheese Pound Cake

My 2nd First Pound Cake

Over the holidays I didn’t eat much in the name of sweets, got to watch my girly figure. The one thing I didn’t get to taste was a good pound cake. Pound cake is one of those desserts you either like or dislike. Those who end up disliking it had to endure either the driest, heaviest and over flavored cake around. My uncle was known for his pound cakes. And in high school he and I actually made two pound cakes one plain and one chocolate so I could give one to my boyfriend at the time. All I remember besides it being one of the few quality times my uncle and I spent together, was it was labor intensive and that meant I wasn’t going to make those cakes again. I mean back then we only had a hand mixer and baby that sucker was old, but functional.

Over the years my uncle continued to make pound cakes, but the older he got the less tasty they became. They would be dry or hard, but the quality suffered. So I only got to taste pound cakes when someone made them and brought them over to the house. My aunt’s sister-in-law can make the lightest damn pound cake ever. When I tell you it is spongy and flavorful, it is no joke. A co-worker had a client who put her whole foot into a pound cake. When my aunt passed, we had two pound cakes in the house one was deemed the “no-no” cake and the other didn’t last 24 hours in the house, because it was that good.

So this past Friday, I decided to Google some pound cake recipes. I was all on Pinterest and everything and I looked at about 5 or 6 recipes. Initially, I didn’t want to do one with cream cheese, but when I found this lovely recipe on fromchapelhilltochickenville, I figured I already had the ingredients except all purpose flour (all them damn cookies), but everything else I had. Only I couldn’t remember where I put the bundt pan, I eventually found it in the storage shed. So my mission was to make my 2nd first time pound cake. From Chapel Hill to Chickenville, got her recipe I tried to stay as close to the recipe as possible, but you all know me, I am a lazy cook and some stuff ain’t happening.

So Saturday morning I took out all my ingredients that needed to be room temperature, because seriously this really important.  No zapping in the microwave, just make sure the butter, eggs and cream cheese are room temperature.  Next, I got my flour ready and this is where lazy took over, I wasn't about to sift the flour and baking powder.  My sifter is the kind with the mechanism in the handle and it takes forever to sift flour and 3 cups was going to be too much.  So I improvised and used my whisk to sift the flour.  Then I went to work that afternoon knowing when I got home I would be making my pound cake.  Side-note, why the hell did we get a call in order at 8:40 pm and it took the folks 5 minutes to order, change their minds and orders multiple times?  Then they said they were on their way, which means they would get there after closing at 9.  I started calling them about 9:07 pm because I couldn't do anything because we were waiting on them.  They should up at 9:08 pm and then proceeded to take advantage of me being nice to try to order more things.  Whoosah!  I got home a few minutes before 10, but I was determined to make this cake.   Ingredients: As adapted From Chapel Hill to Chickenville who adapted it   3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 cups sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp Butter almond extract (my preference or you could do lemon, more vanilla, or something else) {Ya'll know I can't stand the taste of almond extract, so no way was I going to use that, butter worked perfectly!}

6 large eggs

3 cups of sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle some flour over the spray. Shake it around until the flour covers the oil and then tap out the excess.
Bundt pan ready, and my batter ready!
In my kitchen aid,  I beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Gradually add the sugar with the mixer still running, and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the salt and extracts. Add the eggs to the mix, one at a time beating completely after each addition.
I differ from the recipe at this stage, because Chapel Hill to Chickenville mixed the flour by hand into the mixture.  Um, no.  I am too lazy for that.  I put my mixer on stir, which is slow and added my flour slowly and stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl down.  Stir until your batter is completely smooth. 
I am no artist, but hey, it turned out wonderfully!

Now, this batter was heavy at this point, so you know I was worried.  I poured the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake on center rack for 85 minutes. The recipe calls for 75 minutes, but I have to add additional time to my oven because I keep a pan in the bottom with water so things don't burn or get too dark on the bottom because I use a gas stove.  Your cake should be golden brown and it is okay for it to have some cracks in it, in fact I looked for the cracks before I even tested it with a toothpick to see if it was done.  Then I transferred it to a wire rack and let it cool for 30 minutes.  Then I prayed it would flip out of the pan intake, because my minature bundt pan cake didn't do so good a hot mess.  After 30 minutes and after using a sharp knife to go around the edges, because I did have overflow (the cake rises quite a bit) I carefully tured the cake out onto a plate.  Lucky for me, my cake came out wonderfully.  Otherwise, you all wouldn't have known about this adventure.  LOL!

While I was baking this cake I asked my sister if she liked pound cake and of course she does so I suggested she ask her husband to make one.  You see, he likes to cook and he seems to have an obsession with secretly competing on dishes with me.  Don't ask me why.  Men like to compete with me I guess.  Geez.  However, my sister needs to write about that adventure, because her husband obsessed over the recipes for hours and it is a wonder they even got one to taste.  But they did.  He gave me that round.  LOL!

See those cracks and the toothpick marks!  My goodness I need to work on that.
Even The Guy was impressed.

Verdict:  Absolutely amazing.  I am mad I gave some away because baby I could have eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And you know I have to try it again to make sure I can actually do it.  The flavor was on point, it was moist, spongy like I like and not heavy as a brick.  This is really a wonderful recipe and if you have never made a pound cake, I would say use this particular recipe because it is simple and seemingly foolproof.  One of the best pound cakes I have eaten in a while and that is saying a lot, because I do not bake cakes.  If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
You see the overflow parts, oh well I will know next time.

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