Friday, July 1, 2011

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Okay, this is not a food blog, and it's not going to be a food blog. But, we have company this week, so our house is all about the food.

Back when I was still somewhat house bound, after baby number three, or four, I had a very sweet girlfriend, who used to stop at a coffee shack on her way over, arriving with mochas, and cream cheese coffee cake, in hand. I'm sure it didn't do much to help me shed those post-baby pounds, but it was a welcome diversion.

She, and her family, arrived last night, to retrieve their daughter, who has been our guest for the week, and to spend the 4th with us. I figured a special dessert was called for, on their first night here, and the a recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake, taken from the November 2001, Southern Living, over at Elizabeth's Edible Experience, seemed to fit the bill.

Southern Living's Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temp
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temp
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

If you want a really pretty cake, there's a complicated dance of science, and culinary art, involving creaming the butter and cream cheese, until smooth, but not over beaten, gradually adding the sugar, and the eggs one at a time, then the sifted together salt and flour, beating the mixture slowly, until everything is just mixed, and then gently stirring in the vanilla, before pouring the batter into the a greased, and floured 10-inch bunt pan, and baking it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and forty minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted near the center, comes out clean.

Or, if you care more about the taste, than the look, you can do what I did, and plop all the ingredients into a large bowl, and beat them like mad, until everything, except for the last chunky lumps of butter, is smooth, and batter like. Then, blob the whole thing into an angel food cake pan (because it's the first pan, you manage to extract from the cupboard), sprayed with Pam baking spray (it has the flour already in it), and bake it for about 2 hours, at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, poking it a few dozen times over the course of the last 20 minutes, to see if it's done.

Then, serve it upside down, to hide the lumpy, and hole filled top. But, don't remove the crunchy, candy-like, layer from the side of the cake. It's not pretty, but it's the best part.

It's not quite the coffee shack, coffee cake I remember, but it's good enough to be dangerous. I mean really dangerous. I've never been sure whether the "pound" in pound cake refers to the weight of the ingredients, the heaviness of the cake, or the amount you will gain with each bite.

Happily, the children liked the cake as much as I did.

So, I'm safe for today. But then, July is National Ice Cream month...

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

We like your recipes! I can't wait to see what you do with ice cream!

Christy Killoran said...

Oh, that sounds really good - especially the crunchy candy-like part.

We are hoping to make some ice cream during national ice cream month!

Ticia said...

I'm going to enjoy your national ice cream month posts I'm sure.

I've always wondered the same thing about pound cake.