Married life makes even the most well balanced of people a tad flustered. How else can you explain the hazy pall of gloom that slowly creeps up upon sunny cheerful individuals just a few months into their marriage? Is it the bills, is it the tantrums thrown by the man- child you are married to, is it the housework or simply the effort of trying to balance all this ?
I used to bake like a mad woman before getting hitched, nowadays I wonder whether my oven feels ignored and hurt. Ovens have feelings too, don’t they?
So I have been itching to bake something with cream cheese all month. I scoured bookmarked pages, Pinterest links and fellow bloggers pages.And then, I remembered this blessed cake that I had made in my past life (read pre-marriage). I had enjoyed it so much that I think I must have eaten almost an entire cake in just three days.
Meet this no frills, no fuss but ever-so -comforting cake. The cream cheese pound cake. This recipe from Annie’s Eats actually comes with a strawberry coulis which gives it an altogether different kick, but is just as yum.
The cake by itself is dense but soft, with the cream cheese flavour subtly but surely coming through. It quenches your fancy for cream cheese, except you don’t end up with an uneasy feeling of having just swallowed a brick of cream cheese.
It’s easy to make, makes enough to feed a small crowd and with an awesome bundt pan you don’t need to spend more than twenty minutes preparing this beauty. You definitely need this in your repertoire filed under non fussy party cakes. Okay ?
I used my cherished Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan for the cake. It’s design is so brilliant that I often suspect it’s the pan that actually inspires me to make a cake in it, not the other way round. Anyone else feels the same?
Bundt pans call for a thorough buttering and flouring of the pan, otherwise while unmoulding you may end up with a broken cake. Has happened to me a few times( yeah, bundt pans can be ruthless like that).
Here’s what I always do to ensure a happy unmoulding. Brush some melted butter all over especially into the nooks and crannies ,and dust generously with flour. Tip the excess flour out, and if you spot places where you have missed simply repeat the process at that area.
I also learnt one more tip this time- after dumping one third of the batter into the pan, press it into the mould with a spoon, this will take care that all intricate lines of the pan get imprinted onto your cake. Then add the remaining batter and smooth the top.I didn’t know this before , so my cake had a few ‘missing ‘ details. If you look closely, you can see them.
The original recipe calls for almond flavouring, but I omitted it because I didn’t have any on hand. Instead I spiked the batter with a bit of lime zest and juice. Did it make a difference? I am not sure. I like being heavy handed with citrus flavourings, so maybe an extra tsp of zest would have made my tongue pop !
This cake doesn’t use any leaveners – ‘cos that’s just how pound cakes were made traditionally. But it does rise well owing to the air whipped into the batter, so make sure you whip the butter, cream cheese and sugar to the max.
Do bake this cake when you get the chance. You will end up putting a smile on many peoples faces, including on that of the scowling man- child in your house! 🙂
Cream cheese pound cake with citrus glaze
Serves 12 – 14
For the Cake
1 1/2 cups salted butter, at room temperature
1 8 oz(225 g) pack Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp lime zest
3 cups flour
For the orange syrup
Juice of 1 big or 2 medium oranges
1/4 cup sugar
For the lime glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
2-3 tbsp lime juice
For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 160 C. Thoroughly butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.
2. Combine the butter and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.
3. Add the sugar, increase speed and beat until light and airy, at least for 5 minutes.
4. Next add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla extract and lime zest.
6. Add the flour slowly, gently mixing it into the batter at the lowest speed.
7. Pour the thick batter into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula.
8. Bake for about 75 – 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the batter comes out clean.
9. Once done, remove cake from oven and allow it to cool off on a wire rack for 20-25 minutes. Gently go around the cake with a knife or offset spatula and release the edges. Invert the pan onto wire rack. And carefully pull up the pan, easing the cake out slowly.
10. Now brush the hot orange syrup onto the cake.
For the Orange syrup
1. Combine the sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Then bring to a boil and let the syrup simmer for 10 seconds.
2. Once the cake is out of the pan, brush this hot syrup onto the warm cake until all the syrup has been absorbed into the cake.
For the lime glaze
Add the lime juice to the icing sugar and stir. If necessary, add more juice to loosen or more icing sugar to thicken the glaze. The glaze must be thick, yet pourable. Using a spoon, drizzle this glaze immediately onto the completely cooled cake. Allow it to set on the cake before cutting.
This cake keeps for two to three days at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats