Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sour Cream and Sour Cherries

poundcake_cherrystreusel_crumb


I don't have much to say about this cherry streusel pound cake except that I received rave reviews and multiple requests for the recipe. It's surprising that everyone liked it so much since I thought it was just okay. Shows you how much I know! I adapted the recipe from Carolyn Weil in Fine Cooking magazine so I can't take full credit for the success. The original recipe called for dried cranberries and buttermilk but I used dried sour cherries (Montmorency variety) and sour cream instead. I also made the cake once with nonfat yogurt and, needless to say, the full fat sour cream version totally kicked the nonfat yogurt version in the booty. But the yogurt version was still well received by my co-workers. There is more sour cream than butter so the pound cake tastes less buttery than a typical pound cake. I think it was that slight tanginess from the sour cream that really won everyone's heart.

poundcake_cherrystreusel

Cherry Streusel Pound Cake
(makes one 8.5-inch loaf)

Streusel
1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) walnut pieces
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick / 8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dried cherries, lightly chopped

Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter and flour an 8.5x4.5-inch loaf pan.

Combine walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are chopped into small pieces. If you don't want to use a food processor, just chop the walnuts finely and then combine with the sugar and cinnamon.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.

On low speed, add a third of the flour and mix until the flour is just barely combined. Then mix in half of the sour cream. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining half of the sour cream and then the last third of the flour. Be sure to mix each time just until barely combined. Stir in the chopped dried cherries with a spoon or spatula.

Spread half the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter. Spread on the remaining batter. (Alternatively, sprinkle all but 2 tbsp streusel over the first half of the batter. Spread on the remaining batter and then top with the 2 tbsp streusel.)

Bake at 325F until loaf is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 60-75 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack.

~*~

For months I've been waiting for the Williams-Sonoma train cake pan to go on sale but it never did. I'm just not willing to pay $34 for the pan. But I found one for $19 at the Williams-Sonoma outlet in Primm when I was visiting Las Vegas in early December. My nephew loves trains so I wanted to make him a train cake for Christmas. Even though the holidays are long gone I wanted to share.

train_cake_mine

32 comments:

Mandy said...

wow, the train cakes are lovely, Mary. And thanks for the pound cake recipe. I wonder how much buttermilk is used in the original recipe?

slush said...

I love, love, love sour cherries. They are my fav. The cake looks fab. And the train cake is beyond cute. Ive been waiting for that pan to go on sale too. No such luck yet.

Dana said...

This looks so delicious! I love cakes made with sour cream -- they are so much moister and flavorful than their counterparts. Yum!

glamah16 said...

I had been eyeing that train set as well. Williams and Sonoma has great cake pan sets.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo I saw that train cake pan on sale at Williams-Sonoma here for half price (which was I think about $19). They're so expensive otherwise! You decorate the train cars beautifully. :)

Peabody said...

That cake looks super moist. Yum.

Cheryl said...

Love this dessert. Sometimes even I, the complete sugar addict, need a nice lighter dessert without all the frosting and stuff. This looks perfect.

Deborah said...

I love anything with a crumb topping! The train cake is adorable, too.

Steph said...

I have never had sour cherries, but this would be the perfect way to be introduced :)

Katy said...

That train cake is adorable! I love Williams Sonoma but their prices can be so insane sometimes (I go there to look and then to restaurant supply stores to buy!). The pound cake looks delicious, too!

Mimi said...

The train cake is so very pretty. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Bron said...

Wow...that train is super!
The Cherry pound cake sounds scrummy too, however we don't get sour cherries here that I know of.

Mary said...

The original recipe uses 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) buttermilk and 1.5 cup flour.

Brilynn said...

It's the cherries in the cake that would win me over!

And my nephew would absolutely love it if you made that train cake for him!

Andrea said...

That cake looks delicious! And my boys are looking at the train cake and falling over themselves to touch the screen! It's so cute!

RecipeGirl said...

Ohhhh, and my sister gave me some dried sour cherries from the Northwest for Christmas. Will definitely have to try!! Thanks for sharing this delicious- looking recipe. Lori http://TheRecipeGirl.blogspot.com

Cynthia said...

The crumb is so perfect. But then again, look's who's the baker - Mary that totally rocks!

Karen Downing said...

I have this pan and never knew how to decorate it. Yours looks fabulous! Oh, and that cake looks great. Cherries are fun, especially with Valentine's next month.

Anita said...

Cherries and sour cream - what a fab combination!

culinography said...

That looks amazing... and the train is adorable, Mary!

Cakespy said...

Oh, yummy times! Love the cherries and what a treat to see the cute little trains!! You did it well. I can never get those pans to yield such a beautiful looking dessert. I always blamed it on the pan. ;-)

Tartelette said...

You had me at sour cherries...beautiful Mary! I love the train cake, you are a cool auntie!

VeggieGirl said...

cherry-streusel pound cake?? how divine!! oh my goodness that train cake came out beautifully!! so glad that you like that pan!! I'm too intimidated to use it, haha.

JEP said...

I have been unsuccessful in finding dried sour cherries, so will go with sweetened ones! Any cake with sour cream & cinnamon nut swirl is a winner for me! How many hours did it take you to complete the train cake--amazing!

Annemarie said...

Oooh...if you hadn't just posted the recipe I think I'd also be bothering you to let us in on the details. Something about the sour cherries and sour cream that just sound so right...

Valentina said...

Oh mary, how beautiful the train cake. Your nephew was delighted I bet. It has been a long time since my last visit. It is wonderful to be back and to ready your lovely posts.

Sylvia said...

The little train cakes looks so cute.
And I had no word to describe the cake...perhaps ....perfect!

kate said...

i never would have thought to put sour cherries in a coffee cakey thing. it looks so yummy!

Hillary said...

That cake/candy train set is adorabbbble!!!

Elle said...

Very cute train cake...love the way you decorated it!
The pound cake has that hidden struesel, too. Add that to cherries and sour cream and it's hard to imagine how you could go wrong.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

The loaf cake sounds just perfect. There's a Williams Sonoma outlet in Vegas? Forget gambling and go shopping!

Anna Haight said...

I've been wondering what to do with this bag of dried sour cherries!