Friday, January 7, 2011

Cranberry Almond Pound Cake

I called my sister Sandy a few weeks ago and she couldn't talk right away, she was busy mixing almond paste into pound cake batter. I stood still, wondering why I had ever moved from Ohio. I wanted that cake. Of course, I had to ask about it when she called back. She described the Cranberry Almond Pound Cake she was making to take to a family gathering. Being in New England during an impending blizzard, I listened intently. It was full of all of the flavors we think about for holiday goodness and comfort like almonds, cranberries, liqueur, butter and sugar. I had to have the recipe and she sent it to me right away. My oven had been very busy turning out my own divinities, but I decided to make it for the New Year. I had several parties I could take it to, as well as a house full of hungry and appreciative 20 year olds. Even though it is festive for the holidays, it is really a good recipe year round. I think it would also taste delicious with cherries. It is made in a Bundt pan, and I used my Heritage Bundt cake pan. As I was filling it up, it seemed like I had some extra batter, so I decided to make 2 small loaves. Smart decision. They were all filled up to the top after baking. The warm loaves were devoured before they had time to cool and we all watched in awe as the larger cake, with its graceful winding shape fell effortlessly from the pan. Like hearing the sound of snow falling in the dark, it made us stop and watch. My son and his friends had to leave for their drive back to college before I could cut the larger cake. I think we'll have to make it again......soon.

Cranberry Almond Pound Cake

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces almond paste, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (10 ounces) unsalted butter
6 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

Two hours before baking, heat the Amaretto and dried cranberries in a small saucepan. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has soaked up all of the liquid.

Preheat oven to 325, oil pan with Pam with Flour cooking spray.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using the paddle of an electric mixer on low speed, combine almond paste, almond extract and sugar until mixture looks like wet sand. Add butter; mix at medium speed until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs, one by one, beating until blended. On low speed add 1/3 dry ingredients and 1/3 sour cream; scrape bowl with a spatula. Repeat twice more. Finally beat for 20 seconds, until smooth. Fold in all berries.

Fold batter into prepared pan. Level top with spatula and tap pan gently to evenly distribute batter into the pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. Make the glaze while the cake is cooling.

Glaze

2 tablespoons milk* or Amaretto
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*If using milk, you may also add a few drops of almond extract.

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and slowly blend in milk or Amaretto with a fork until smooth. Drizzle the warm cake with the glaze. Once cool, transfer to a serving platter.

Notes: If you want to make a smaller cake, divide the recipe in half and use loaf pans.
I used my food processor to blend the almond paste with the sugar, and substituted fat free sour cream for the regular sour cream.

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23 comments:

ButterYum said...

Oh my - this sounds amazing!! Definitely will be making this, and I think I'll even make it in my Heritage pan (love, love, love that pan).

Have a great weekend,
ButterYum

La Table De Nana said...

Anything with almond paste..AND that pan..I resisted while in Fl..next yr..you have to keep a wish list right?
I see I am not the only one.. It looks so good!

You're lucky to have a sister too:)

It's lovely and Thank You!

Kate said...

I agree with Monique...anything with almond paste is wonderful! Beautiful. I must try it!

lostpastremembered said...

Having just made a fruity pound cake with marzipan topping I can so vouch for the combination... it would be perfect in the cake itself, I can imagine. Yours came out so beautifully (you are the cake pan queen, Diane) I am impressed, as always... and the photo is superb.

Karen @ Mignardise said...

Ooh, I want that too! It's gorgeous and I can imagine how delicious it must be. I love anything with almond.

Laurie Palanza Iseman said...

Beautiful photos and looks like a delicious cake. Living on Cape Cod makes me perk up whenever I see cranberries. Lovely blog!

linda said...

after reading all these fabulous comments above…ditto on all counts.
& since it is snowing here & since i have all the ingredients…but not heritage bunt pan ..loaves it will be!
thanks diane!!

darcyeats said...

I made just a plain cranberry pound cake a few weeks ago...now,it was good, but I'm thinking the addition of amaretto & almonds really takes this cake to the next level. Looks fantastic!

Mirela Vlăduți said...

This is unbelievable, a super combination. Simply love it! Congrats

Medifast Coupon said...

Amaretto and cranberries,delicious! This pound cake actually looks light and tart!

2 Stews said...

Yes, I think the almond paste does take it to a higher place! And having a a beautiful pan is the icing on the cake.

Thanks for the reminder Monique about having the good fortune of having a sister. I have 3!!

Linda, a snowstorm and a well stocked pantry is a great combination. I hope you enjoyed the cake.

Thanks for visiting...Have a good week.

Lindsay said...

Oh, this looks delicious! Lovely photos, too. Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

I admit it. I'm one of those skim-readers when it comes to blogs until I've found that I absolutely love it. But your cake was so pretty that I had to go all the way BACK to the top and read through the entire post again! -Love it!
Jess : )
www.livininthekitchen.wordpress.com

lynne said...

Oh! Your pound cake looks delish!

linda said...

just stopped by to let you know that i prepped the whole recipe & made 4 mini loaves & with the rest of the batter baked 12 muffins with a new tin that i purchased @ ikea (taller/slender muffins) & 10 regular shaped muffins.

THANK YOU FOR THIS CLASSIC (WONDERFUL, MOIST & EXQUISITE) RECIPE... which will be a staple in my kitchen!!

2 Stews said...

Thanks again everyone:-)

Jess...what a sweet comment! I love it!!

Linda...what great info. I checked out the Ikea tall muffin tin. What a great find. Also, thanks for the feedback about how many mini-loaves and muffins this breaks down into. It adds versatility. This recipe also freezes well, so you can have some on hand for spur of the moment guests or to make ahead.

Have a wonderful week.

Diane

ann said...

This cake looks really delicious. What a beautiful presentation. I love almond flavored cakes.

meig said...

This season has been my first for cooking with cranberries (I was never a fan growing up). I have become slowly obessed with them, and can only imagine how amazing this cake is! I think I must try this as soon as possible!

Chez Manu - Italian Home Cooking said...

Looks amazing and I am sure it must taste delicious!!! Thanks!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I made this, I loved it, I blogged it, I gave you a shout. Thanks for the inspiration. It's a "weener"!

Karlita923 said...

Going to make this as gifts in the mini loafs since I'm sure others will love it as much as my family does! Baking time for those? Thanks.

Karlita923 said...

Going to make this as gifts in the mini loafs since I'm sure others will love it as much as my family does! Baking time for those? Thanks.

Shoshana said...

This sounds great. I am thinking of making it for a Christmas gift this year. Do you have any idea how long it stays good for after baking?