February 16, 2016

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

You know those pound cake slices they sell at Starbucks?  You've seen them, right along side the croissants and scones?  Well, this is my attempt at replicating one of them.  Specifically the raspberry swirl pound cake with cream cheese icing.

I love any kind of marbled cake so when I initially saw a pound cake recipe posted on Gretchen's Bakery I knew I had to make it.  But in homage to Starbucks I swapped out the chocolate for raspberry.  To do this was super simple; just mix in raspberry jam to half of the cake batter.   To gild the lily even further I frosted the baked and cooled pound cake with cream cheese icing.  

While the cake is tender and moist, I found the raspberry flavor was a bit too subtle.  Next time I'm going to ribbon some raspberry jam in the cake batter so you get a burst of fruity flavor.  A slice (or two) of this cake with some coffee or tea and you're all set!

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake (adapted from Gretchen's Bakery)

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup (170 grams) cake flour
5 teaspoons (20 grams) cornstarch
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a standard loaf pan.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy approximately 5 minutes. 
Combine the eggs and vanilla extract together and sift together the flour, salt, baking powder & cornstarch~ reserve.
Add ⅓ of the egg mixture to the creaming mixture and blend well.
Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.
Repeat this process with the remaining egg and flour in 3 total additions until all is blended in well.

Scoop about half of the cake batter in a separate bowl.  Add in raspberry jam and whisk to combine thoroughly.

Spoon the cake batter in to the pan, alternating the vanilla batter and raspberry batter.  Use a wooden skewer or butter knife to swirl the batter.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.   Turn cake out of pan and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing (from Giada de Laurentiis)

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons water, plus extra as needed 

In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is pourable.

Spoon the icing over the cake and allow to set for 20 minutes before slicing.

February 9, 2016

Red Velvet Valentine Cake

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and here's a great dessert to celebrate the holiday.  What could be more appropriate than a heart-shaped red velvet layer cake? 
The combination of buttermilk and white vinegar in the batter makes the cake layers really moist and tender.  A generous two tablespoons of red food color give it that trademark deep, rich color.  No red velvet cake is complete without cream cheese frosting.  I particularly like this version because the addition of buttermilk powder cuts the sweetness and  provides a really nice tang.

Happy Valentine's Day!


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