Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweets for Christmas--Cherry Pound Cake

This month, I'm going to test holiday sweets so I'll know what to bring for my sister in Beijing, she's been living there for a while and according to her, she hasn't tasted cakes that are as good as the ones here in Manila (I'd have to agree with that) or the ones that I bake. So she requested me to bring for her baked cakes when I visit her for Christmas, this will mean handcarrying the cakes on a 4-hour flight--not exactly what I was planning but for the love of my sister, I will do it. The first cake I tested was this cherry pound cake that I found on
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch tube pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Dredge cherries in 1/4 cup flour, then fold into batter. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

* I made it exactly as the recipe but I decorated it with poured fondant (powdered sugar thinned with milk and colored)
** I baked it in a bundt pan instead of a tube pan and the baking time was only 60 minutes.

The whole house smelled like Christmas while I was baking it and it stayed that way 2 hours after I brought it out of the oven. The cake was dense and the texture was great. I will definitely make this for Beijing. Yummy!

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