Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holiday Poundcake

Everybody loves Wednesday, right?
The week's half over.  The weekend is on the way.
What's not to love?
Each Wednesday, I want to share something with you
that I absolutely love and can't live without!

My book club got together last week. We had last met back in late February and discussed the book "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. It was about a group of people who survive the hardships of World War II by developing a book club of sorts. They met regularly and each member reported back on the book they have been reading. It was a wonderful book, and we thought that having a "free book" meeting might be fun. So we decided at the next meeting, we'd each share a book that we have read that we really enjoyed and had an impact on us. Everyone shared their selections in simple two minute summaries. (No spoilers!)

My cohort, Nancy, provided her home. Everyone else brought a finger food, and I provided dessert. Today I'll share with you the recipe for the delicious cake I made. I'll give you the list of books that were recommended in another post soon.

I love poundcake. I have a basic sour cream poundcake recipe that is my go to dessert. It serves a million and is always delicious. However - last week, I saw a recipe on Facebook that looked great, but then I couldn't locate it again. I remembered it was called Christmas Poundcake, so I looked for it on Pinterest...and found a dozen different ones! So - I combined three recipes (all the things I liked about each one) and came up with what I'm calling Holiday Poundcake. It.Was.Divine!

Holiday Poundcake

For the cake
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 stick of butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 block light cream cheese
2 tbsp light sour cream
1 tbsp half and half
zest of one orange
juice from half an orange
2 tbsp browned butter

For the frosting
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 block light cream cheese
juice from half an orange
"enough" powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan. Set aside.

Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Sift three times. Set aside.

Whisk egg and vanilla by hand. Set aside.

Mix butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and continue beating until mixed and creamy. Add cream cheese, sour cream and half and half. Combine well.

Turn mixer to low and alternately add flour and egg mixtures, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not over beat.

Rinse cranberries and discard any that are shriveled.

Toss white chocolate chips in flour to coat. This keeps the chips from sinking.

Gently fold in cranberries and chips. Again - do not over mix.

Note - I forgot to add my orange zest earlier, so I added it after the berries and chocolate. Really, it should be added while the batter is being mixed.

While making batter, melt butter over low heat until slightly browned.

Spoon batter into the greased pan and smooth. Hit it on the counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles. Finally, pour the brown butter on top and tilt pan to swirl butter to cover entire top of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or until a toothpick comes out clean. The butter will cause the cake to brown more deeply, so I had to cover it about an hour in and then uncover at the end. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn it out to cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled, mix up the icing, adding enough powdered sugar to get the right consistency. (Mix everything but the powdered sugar and then add sugar until it looks and feels right.)

Drizzle glaze on top.

I had extra glaze so I put it in a bowl to serve on the side. I also made a batch of cookies in case someone didn't like cranberries. I had picked up a pouch of Betty Crocker cookie mix. It is a "limited edition" flavor for the holidays called Salted Caramels. They tast like a caramel sugar cookie. Really yummy. Placed in a crystal biscuit barrel, they were elegant and delicious! 

This cake was delicious! It was so moist on the inside and crusty on the outside. The fresh cranberries were such a nice surprise against the rich chocolate chips. In fact - Brack told me to double the cranberries next time! He had begged for a piece before I left, but it wasn't cool yet, so I told him I'd save him a piece or two. I did, but it was hard!

This cake will definitely make it into the rotation again soon. In fact, if I end up getting everything done for tomorrow soon, I may make one tonight!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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