Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Citrus Pound Cake

Strawberries have been available for about a dollar a pound for a few weeks now. They always smell so sweet and summery when I walk by them . . . so I buy some. And then, of course, I have to make angel food cake or pound cake to go with them! This particular recipe has been passed from one friend, through another friend, to me. The friend before me changed it a bit, and I changed it again, then I made it gluten free. It's really good . . . especially with strawberries!

Citrus Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
zest from one lime and zest from half an orange*
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
juice of half an orange
juice of one lime
2 1/4 c. featherlight mix
3/4 c. GF mix
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 or 3 loaf pans with parchment paper. (I really like parchment paper. It allows me to remove things from the pans so easily. If you don't have any, however, a non-stick cooking spray should do the trick. Or you can lightly grease the pan with either butter or shortening, then dust it with featherlight mix.)

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and zest, then beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, "until light and airy" my original recipe said. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. (Adding the eggs slowly like this allows them to mix evenly into the butter mixture, without leaving clumps of butter that are didn't mix in well.) Add the vanilla and citrus juices, and mix well. Then add the flours, xanthan gum, and salt all at once. Mix until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. (I left mine in the pans for hours . . . until I went to bed that night.) Allow to cool completely before serving. Cover leftovers tightly. (I kept mine in a ziplock bag overnight.)

This cake is good on the first day, but it is REALLY good after it's been allowed to sit for a while. I'd suggest making it 8 - 24 hours before you want to serve it. If you forget to make it early, though, it's not the end of the world. It tastes good, just an hour out of the oven - it's mostly the texture that improves with time.

*I used a fine cheese grater to "zest" the lime and orange, because I don't own a zester. The thing to remember is that you want the colored part of the peel, but not the white part underneath it. Once you are done zesting them, the fruit peels will look like pale copies of their former selves. Then you can juice the fruits for later in the recipe!

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