As a diabetic, I don’t eat a lot of sweets. Yes, I bake. Yes, I know the definition of irony. However, I do have 2, maybe 3, weaknesses…dark chocolate ice cream, key lime pie, and pound cake.
My mom says the chocolate ice cream comes from my grandfather dipping my pacifier in it to stop my crying when I was a baby. The key lime pie comes from my love of tart citrusy flavors (and the fact that I won a championship with a key lime pie). The pound cake…there’s only one reason that I can think of. I’m from the south. Southerners love a good pound cake. Hot, cold, with fruit, with cream, with ice cream, with a glaze, with butter, toasted with butter…it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love pound cake.
The problem with pound cake is that so many people believe that any cake in a tube pan is a pound cake. It’s not. A pound cake isn’t like any cake you make from a box. It isn’t like the birthday cake you buy from the bakery. No, a pound cake has a very specific density, mouth feel, and proportion of ingredients.
Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. However, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio, by weight, of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar may also be called a pound cake, as it yields the same results. (from Wikipedia)
My favorites are plain pound cake (of course), cream cheese pound cake, sour cream pound cake, lemon pound cake, key lime pound cake, pumpkin pound cake, and even Sara Lee Pound Cake…Do I sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump yet??? Pound cake sandwiches are good too…2 slices of pound cake grilled with brie cheese and chocolate…OMG!!?!?!?
Anyway, as a sucker for pound cake crust (southerners know what I mean), I have been known to bake a pound cake after the kids have gone to bed, just because I have a craving. This particular pound cake recipe came about one weekend when I didn’t have any cream cheese or sour cream in the house, but I did have a container of ricotta. So why not…let’s try it. Surprisingly, it turned out great! I added a tart glaze and it was over-the-top great!
1/2 c. butter—softened
1/2 c. shortening
8 oz. ricotta cheese
½ c. lemon juice
1 tsp lemon extract
3 c. sugar
3 c. flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ c. lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 TBSP meringue powder (can be omitted, but will help the glaze to set up)
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour alternately with lemon juice. Beating just until combined. Stir in lemon extract. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes-1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before glazing.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, meringue powder, and powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Pour over cake.