Friday is my favorite day of the week because it's the start of my resting period and also, when baking time begins. Actually, baking time can be anytime between Friday and Sunday, I welcome it because it's such a stress reliever for me. I do like to get my hands dirty with flour and butter and I let my mind wanders when I'm baking. But, often times I don't get that time when my schedule is full. That's when I start to long for it and am looking forward to saying no to anything that comes in my way so I can plan a leisurely baking day.
I finally had a chance to do some baking a couple of weeks ago. I've been browsing recipes to see what kind of dessert I would bake, and this pound cake recipe caught my eyes. I've always loved buttery and tender texture of pound cake even if it's as simple as this one. With holiday season approaching, the eggnog flavor with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg is a welcoming scent to the house. The thought of a warm and comforting slice of cake to be enjoyed on a blustery day was my idea of staying home for the whole weekend.
Spiced Eggnog Pound Cake with Toasted Walnuts
Yields: 16 servings
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup refrigerated eggnog
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whipping cream
Generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with 1 cup eggnog, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and, if desired, brandy. Stir toasted walnuts evenly in the batter.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Stir cinnamon and next 3 ingredients into remaining batter. Spoon spice batter over plain batter. Swirl batters together, using a knife.
Bake at 350F for 50 to 55 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
Place cake on a cake plate. Combine powdered sugar and whipping cream, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake.
Source: Christmas with Southern Living, June 2005