I have to admit that I am a total sucker for pound cake. I don’t know what it is but put one in a room with me and I will eat it until it is gone. Whenever I pick up any kind of baking or dessert book, the first thing I look for is the pound cake chapter. Pound cakes are just so versatile. You can use them for triffles, fruit desserts, breakfast treats and just plain snacking. I thought I would share my favorite pound cake recipe with you all.
Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
From “Great Cakes” by Carole Walter
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2 cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
5 large egg yolks, lightly stirred
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch flat-bottomed tube pan or fluted ring pan (10 – 12 cup capacity) and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
Using a triple sifter, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Cut the butter and cream cheese into 1-inch pieces and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the lemon zest. Soften on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color. (about 1 ½ to 2 minutes)
Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Add the egg yolks in three additions a 1 minute intervals, scarping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix until blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-low and mix about 30 seconds longer.
In a separate large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and increase mixer speed to medium-high. Continue beating until the whites are shiny and hold in firm peaks. Do not overbeat.
With a wide rubber spatula, fold about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter, taking about 20 strokes to lighten the batter. Then fold in the remaining egg whites, taking about 40 strokes.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface of the batter. Center the pan on the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on the top and begins to come away from the sides of the pan. The cake is done when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry.
Remove the cake form the oven and set the pan onto a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes to cool. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and remove the pan. To protect the top of the cake if you have used a flat-bottomed pan, turn the cake top side up on a second cooling rack to cool completely. If you have used a fluted tube pan, cool it top side down. Just before serving, dust with confectioners sugar.
You can make this cake plain but decreasing the lemon zest to ½ teaspoon (or omitting it entirely) and increasing the vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons.