Thanks to Sarah, I know what I'll be baking this weekend:
I'm a chocolate person. When given a choice between Dessert A and Dessert B, invariably I'll choose the dessert with the highest chocolate content (unless there are nuts; don't ruin my chocolate with nuts). But a few years ago, I cut some recipes out of a catalog that came in the mail, and when I offered to bring dessert to a family Easter dinner, this recipe seemed appropriate. The lime makes the recipe seem spring-y, but really, you can enjoy it any time of year.
And boy, can you. Dense, creamy, with a refined crumb and unbelievable lime flavor, as full as we were of roast lamb and new potatoes, we couldn't get enough of this pound cake. I have since served it at a baby shower and at a dessert contest at a potluck supper (the winner!), and get rave reviews every time. The recipe may seem a little complicated, but the steps themselves are basic. It's SO worth the effort to wait for the ingredients to come to room temperature, to cream the butter thoroughly, and to make that extra trip to the market for cake flour.
I'm now a complete sucker for anything flavored with lime. I suppose you could substitute a different citrus flavor, but the tart and slightly bitter lime counterbalances the rich, egg-y cake beautifully.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Lime Glaze
From Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures via Williams-Sonoma Catalog
1. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a flat beater or a hand-held mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy and smooth, 30-40 seconds. Add 3 cups sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes more; stop mixer and scrape bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and 3 tablespoons lime juice.
3. Reduce speed to low. Fold in flour mixture in 3 additions, blending each addition just until smooth; stop mixer and scrape bowl occasionally. Fold in lime zest. Spoon batter into prepared pan, making sides higher than center. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours.
4. Cool cake upright in pan on rack ten minutes. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ¼ cup lime juice and ¾ cup sugar until blended (you can substitute confectioner's sugar for a smoother texture). Set rack over a sheet of waxed paper; invert cake onto rack. Generously brush cake with glaze. Cool completely before serving. Serves 20. (Or ten, depending on how many times you go back for more.)
I don't know how many calories there are per serving, and I don't want to know. Enjoy!
Image credit: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Fluted Cake Pan