Even though the Spring Equinox was yesterday, the lake is still frozen and the sun continues to play hide and seek. I'm ready for spring and the burst of color that comes with the tulips and other flowering bulbs. When the leaves return, I know the locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables will too. But before moving on to the lighter recipes of spring and summer we have a few more weeks of hot tea and winter desserts.
As I've mentioned at least a billion times, I'm on a quest to find the perfect pound cake. As my sister was clearing out Mom's kitchen drawers, she came across a worn and tattered recipe for Caramel Nut Pound Cake. This cake is the kind of dessert my mother would prepare when it was her turn to host her bridge club or canasta group. Mom wasn't as competitive as my father when it came to card games. The bridge club was perfect for her, good conversation with her girlfriends, a little bridge and a tasty dessert. At the risk of romanticizing the past, I lament the loss of the ladies afternoon bridge club. Not that I want to return to the days of white gloves and girdles though I could get into hats.
On the last days of winter I greased and floured my tube pan and excitingly baked the Caramel Nut Pound Cake. It is scrumptious and worth every calorie but I offer you this word of warning...Don't be alone with this cake. Prepare it when you know you are having friends or family over so that you can share it over coffee or with an after dinner drinks. Better yet, get your friends together for a friendly evening of cards and be the hit of the evening when you serve this cake.
Caramel Nut Pound Cake
1 pound light brown sugar
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325˚
Flour and grease a tube pan
1. Mix together sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream butter, shortening and brown sugar together thoroughly.
3. Gradually add white sugar and continue to cream thoroughly.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
5. Mix dry and wet ingredients together ending with the flour mixture.
6. Add vanilla and mix well.
7. Add nuts and mix well.
8. Pour into tube pan.
9. Bake for 90 minutes or until done. Toothpick test recommended.
10. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Finish cooling.
*To avoid cake failures, bring eggs and butter to room temperature.
**I found 90 minutes was a bit long in my oven. I recommend checking on the cake after 80 minutes.
***I am Southern so pecans are my first choice for nuts but you can use what ever you like.