Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Spring has sprung here in the Southeast. I don't know what that means to you but for me it means strawberry season!  For many years, my parents grew strawberries on a commercial level. So as you can imagine, I've eaten a lot of strawberries, in almost anyway imaginable.  One of my favorite ways to use strawberries is to macerate them. Are you impressed by that term?? It's not nearly as impressive as it sounds. It's just sliced berries with sugar that sit until the juices release. We like to mash the berries slightly (I use a potato masher). We called mashed strawberries....fancy, I know, but that's just how we are around here.  At this point you can do anything with the mashed strawberries. They're delicious on top of ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, the list goes on, but pile them on top of a hunk of buttery pound cake maybe a bit of freshly whipped cream...simply wonderful!   
Last month's Southern Living featured a pound cake with strawberries swirled through it, on the cover.  When I read through the recipe it sounded delicious but called for a strawberry glaze for the swirl. I'm not a fan of strawberry glaze. It has a kind of artificially taste that I don't like. I decided to cook down some berries and make my own glaze to swirl in the cake. I was going to strain the berries and make a syrup more like the original recipe called for but I decided I liked the idea of having strawberry pieces baked into the cake. I could have my mashed berries baked right into the cake...perfect!

Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

Source: Nancy H. Test, West Chester, Ohio,  

MARCH 2011 (adapted)
Printable Recipe
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

2/3 cup strawberry glaze
1 (6-inch) wooden skewer

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in the lemon zest, almond, and vanilla extracts. Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured *10-inch 14 cup tube pan (about 2 2/3 cups batter). Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with wooden skewer. Repeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Notes:*the original recipe said to use a 10-inch 14 cup tube pan but I used my 10-inch 12 cup bundt pan.

Strawberry Swirl
Strawberry Swirl
2 cups strawberries(about 1 lb), quartered
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch

Combine the water, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan on high heat. Stir and bring up to a boil.
After the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the strawberries have completely broken down.  As the strawberries soften, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the berries. (At this point you could strain the strawberries through a sieve for a smooth glaze, but I decided to leave the bits of strawberry in mine.)
Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Then, pour into the strawberries.
Increase heat to high, and continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens and the cornstarch becomes clear and loses it's cloudy appearance, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Remove  from heat, and pour into separate bowl to cool down. Use 3/4 a cup to swirl in the cake. Any leftovers are great served along with the cake.
This is a BIG cake when it's done. With that lovely swirl of berries running through it, this cake would be perfect for our family Easter gathering. Can't wait for an excuse to make this again!
Strawberry swirl!


Elizabeth said...

I love strawberries in pretty much any form!

bellini said...

Sad to say, no local strawberries here until June but they do look tempting mashed into this poundcake!

Mary Beth Downey said...

P, I am SOOO going to try this.

Helene said...

Oh my I would love a piece

grace said...

that's gorgeous! i love the cream cheese element as well--hello, moistness!

Mary Beth Downey said...

Paula, I made it and it was DELISH - so moist. I think I put too much of the strawberry glaze in the cake because some of it oozed out in the baking process, sticking to the pan, and leading to an interesting "extracation" process. :) It may not have looked pretty, but everyone raved about his good it tasted! :)

Becs@Lay the table said...

This looks divine! What does the cream cheese do to the texture?

Half Baked said...

Becs, It makes the cake a little bit heavier but so moist! I love the flavor of a cream cheese pound cake.