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Tue, Dec. 10

Column: Pound cake recipes are tasty and ... easy

Pound cake has been around for many years and can be served many ways. Summer fruits make a great match for pound cake. It can also be eaten plain and is tasty with a cup of coffee or as a snack with most any beverage. And perhaps best of all - it is easy to make!WHITE CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE1 tbsp. finely chopped pecans4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped3 cups flour1/2 tsp. salt1/4 tsp. baking soda1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened2 cups granulated sugar (adjust amount of sugar used for desired sweetness)1 cup heavy whipping cream2 tsp. vanilla extract6 large eggs, room temperatureConfectioner's sugar for dusting topWhipped cream and berries or white chocolate ice cream, opt.Preheat oven to 300 and place rack in center of oven. Lightly butter a 10-inch Bundt cake pan. Dust pan with flour and tap out excess. Sprinkle pecans evenly over bottom. In top of double boiler, over hot but not simmering water, melt white chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove top of double boiler and cool chocolate for 5-10 minutes or until tepid. Into large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. In large bowl of stand-up electric mixer, set at medium speed and beat butter 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, until creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream, the melted white chocolate, and vanilla. One at a time, add the eggs, beating 45-60 seconds after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low. One cup at a time, add flour mixture. Mix 20 to 30 seconds just until blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan smoothing the top of batter. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or as long as 1 hour 30 minutes testing until tester comes out clean. Transfer cake, still within pan to wire rack for a 15 minute cool. Using small spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan and invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar lightly over top of cake. May serve with fresh whipped cream and your choice of berries, white chocolate or ice cream.Note: May be wrapped in plastic and stored up to a week at room temperature or in freezer 1 month.BLUEBERRY POUND CAKE1 cup butter, softened3 cups sugar1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract1/2 tsp. lemon extract6 eggs3 c. all purpose-flour1/4 tsp. baking soda1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream3 cups fresh or frozen blueberriesconfectioners' sugarSAUCE:1 cup sugar1/4 cup cornstarch1/2 cup cranberry juice concentrate6 cup fresh or frozen blueberriesIn large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in extracts. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into two greased and waxed paper-lined 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick near center comes clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and cranberry juice concentrate until smooth. Add the blueberries. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve sauce warm or cold over pound cake or leftovers over ice cream and add a cookie! Note: If using frozen fruit do not thaw before adding to batter.LEMON LOVER'S POUND CAKEA very popular pound cake is lemon!1 cup butter (no substitutes)3 cups sugar6 eggs5 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. grated lemon peel1 tsp. lemon extract3 cups all purpose flour1/2 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. salt1-1/4 cup sour creamICING:1/4 cup sour cream2 tbsp. butter, softened2-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar3 tbsp. lemon juice2 tsp. grated lemon peelIn large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon juice, peel and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Beat just until combined. Pour into greased and floured 10 fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack for complete cooling.ICING: In small bowl beat sour cream and butter until blended. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Beat in lemon juice and peel. Drizzle over cake. Store in refrigerator. Serves 12.NOTE: Any of these would be great for outside dinners or birthdays adding fruit or homemade or purchased ice cream.
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