When I run on the treadmill at the gym, I like to watch movies on my iPhone. I’m out of digital copies of my movies for now, so I’ve been watching Martha Stewart’s free video podcasts from iTunes. Sometimes they are about cleaning, gardening, or crafts, but mostly they’re about cooking and baking. I find it a little bit funny to be on a treadmill watching someone make incredibly rich desserts and meals. But I don’t mind, I love watching cooking shows, and it’s sort of motivation to exercise often. :)
One episode I watched recently was Cream Cheese Pound Cake. It looked delicious, so I tried it myself this weekend. The pound cake tasted wonderful – the flavor was good enough to just eat the cake on its own with no topping. But there are many choices for toppings and the cake compliments them wonderfully. I made some strawberry sauce by chopping up strawberries and mixing with cold water and sugar. Then I made homemade whipped cream for the top. It was incredible.
A great thing about this dessert is that you don’t spend long in the kitchen. It’d be great for times that you have company over, because you can whip it up without a lot of prep time. Or you could make the cake in advance and before you serve, make the strawberry sauce and whipped cream (which only takes about 15 minutes).
The recipe, from Martha’s site, is:
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour and salt in two additions, beating until just combined.
- Generously coat two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans (1 1/2 quarts each) with cooking spray; immediately pour in batter (pan will seem full). Tap pans on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.
- Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out almost clean, 60 to 75 minutes (if the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil).
- Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out the cakes; cool completely, with top sides up, on a wire rack.
I chose to make this cake in a tube pan instead of two loaf pans, and baked it for about 1 hour and 45 minutes at 300 degrees.
I also dusted the top with powdered sugar.
For this recipe to be a success, don’t overmix the flour into the wet ingredients. Also, because it’s such a large cake with a slow bake time, it’s crucial to rotate the pan in the oven halfway through. I used the foil tent like Martha recommended, so that the top didn’t get too brown.
You can buy whipped cream of course, but making it yourself is so fun and easy.
All you need is:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
You can add more vanilla or sugar to flavor it to your taste.
I chilled the bowl and the whisk in the fridge first, which definitely helps – especially in the summer. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk, start slow and after a minute increase the speed to medium-high. after 2 to 4 minutes the cream will peak and you’ll have delightful whipped cream. :)
The finished product:
I made this yesterday, along with a nice dinner for me and Ryan. We had one of my Dad’s recipes, something my family affectionally calls “Chicken with Goop” – chicken in a delicious creamy sauce with french fried onions. I also made homemade dinner rolls, with a recipe I found that tastes fabulous and makes 15 – meaning lots of yummy leftover rolls.
Since the cake was in the oven for almost 2 hours, I had lots of time to read my weekend book – The Rose Variations by Marisha Chamberlain.
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