|Orange Pound Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts
½ pound (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour (don't sub in all purpose flour! You will wind up with a brick suitable for masonry)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from one orange
1 tablespoon orange juice
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup cranberries
Baking pan - 1 9"x5" loaf pan. If you don't have a 9"x5" pan, sub in two 8"x4" pans. One will be too small to hold the all the batter.
As always when working with things like dried berries start by plumping the cranberries. Place them in a bowl and cover with warm water. Set them aside for 30 minutes to plump. Set out your butter at the same time and it will be ready when the cranberries are.
Butter the loaf pan and then flour it. Do this if even if you are using a non-stick pan, just assure that your cake does not stick. To flour the pan, just put in two teaspoons of flour and tilt the pan back and forth until all the butter is covered with a thin film of flour.
Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 325 degrees.
To make the batter, in your large bowl or the work bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter until it is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Measure out the sugar into a bowl, this will allow you to add the sugar to the butter in a stream.
Beat the butter and sugar until they are light, about another 4 minutes. Don't scrimp on time here, you will regret it when the cake comes out of the oven.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Don't add the next one until the current one is completely absorbed. Add the flour, salt, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest. Stir to combine.
Drain the cranberries and add them and the walnuts to the batter.
Using a spatula, pour the batter into the loaf pan. Use the spatula to flatten the top of the batter.
Slip the pan into the oven and bake for 1 ½ hours. When the cake is done it will have a dark brown crust and a tooth pick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool on a rack in the pan for ten minutes. Uses a knife to loosen the edges of the cake and turn it out onto the wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
This cake is really rich and so keeps very well if wrapped in plastic. Serve by itself or with some whipped cream for an extra treat.
There you go, Bread Heads, just a little something I whipped up with ingredients on hand. Don't be shy about trying you hand at other flavors and ingredients to punch up pound cake.
The floor is yours!