In a departure from the dainties and the cookies that accompany Christmas, I would like to offer an alternative that goes well at Christmas time. This is a fabulous cake and it only gets better with age. It’s from a book called “CakeLove” and I believe there is a bakery of the same name, although I’m not sure where. I have changed the original recipe in a few places, just because a couple of the ingredients that are called for in the recipe I didn’t have in my kitchen.
So, in the spirit of a festive cakes, and who doesn’t love cakes, here is a must try recipe when looking for a show-stopper!
CRANBERRY-LEMON POUND CAKE LOADED WITH CHOCOLATE
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup half-and-half*
2 tbsp gin
1 tsp vanilla extract
*We mixed half sour cream and half milk to get 3/4 cup and it worked out just fine. If you have half-and-half around then don’t worry about this.
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
The first thing I like to do is mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan; if you don’t have one of these an angel food cake pan should do the trick as well.
Then I like zest the lemon before segmenting it. To segment the lemon, cut in half through the widest part and cut out all the flesh. You don’t want any of the parts that separate the segments. You’ll see this when you cut it in half.
You can mix all the liquid ingredients together in another bowl and set aside.
Cream sugar, butter, and lemon zest in electric mixer for about 2 or 3 minutes. The creamed mixture will look a little moist. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well in between and scraping down the sides of the bowl so everything is incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately. To build a good cake structure don’t dilly-dally during this part. Dry-wet-dry-wet-dry-wet-dry in about a minute is recommended.
When all the ingredients have been incorporated stop the mixer and scrape down the sides so nothing gets stuck. Turn the mixer back on and give everything a good mix – about 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and throw it in the oven for about 45 minutes. When I made this last, I had to add about 15 minutes on to the time, so keep a good eye on your oven and the cake. Cool the cake in the pan about 10 minutes and then flip out onto a cooling rack for another 30 minutes.
To serve, you can glaze the cake with a little lemon juice and icing sugar mixture, or you can just dust icing sugar on it.
Thanks for reading! Happy eats!