Let me tell you about Alon’s, my favorite bakery in town. It’s my comfort destination, a place where I go to cheer myself when I am down, lost, confused or plain craving. It’s a place where I can lose myself in the midst of glistening chocolate cakes, fancy baked goodies and inviting cookies. A place whose allure just increases thanks to the variety of european wines and cheeses and spreads and chocolates and relishes it stores. The fact that it has a terrific deli serving some mouth watering lunch stuff (Tunisian Tuna Sandwish, oh my !) is a good arguement to visit them when hungry. And then some sexy mocha to down it all. I mean, how can I – a chocolate and coffee lover, a passionate baker, a food lover – not love this place that does it all in style, panache and with outstanding quality. Of course, every visit cuts through the heart of my purse is another matter alltogether It’s the kind of place, with its rustic, cozy and inviting feel, that I would like to open up in some far flung town flanked by the mountains, once I find the sponsor to burn through a neat pile of cash and the guts to deal with it head on😀😀.
And so, it was one of those days that I went there with hubby darling and we lunched on a fabulous Tunisian Tuna sandwich and a velvety smooth Opera Cake, with a tall Mocha to sip – a lovely winter afternoon with the love of my life But that was not enough when I was at Alon’s. I had to have the lovely goodies too. So post lunch I was looking to pick up something sweet for next day breakfast table when I saw this lovely wrapped cream cheese pound cake. It looked lovely and knowing it was from Alon’s I had no doubt would taste lovely too. And it did – creamy, rich, moist and sweet. Not a big fan of pound cakes, but this was special. So much so that I decided to bake one myself. The result was this marbled cherry cream cheese pound cake that I came up with post multiple recipe searches and some chit chat with a friendly Alon’s s salesperson😀. The cake is cherry flavored but you can put in virtually any flavor combination that you desire. All you need is your imagination and the related pantry items A classic would be chocolate marbling but that would also be so classic. I would encourage you to come up with some interesting options as well. The cake freezes well and can be baked in a bundt pan for maximum oomph. Too bad I don’t have a bundt pan yet (hint ye readers :D) …
1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
2. 1 tsp baking powder
3. 1/2 tsp salt
4. 8 Oz cream cheese, softened
5. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (one stick)
6. 1.75 cups granulated sugar
7. 5 large eggs
8. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
9. 4.5 Oz Cherry flavored baking chips (or use any flavor chips, chocolate baking bars etc), melted, cooled and kept aside
Chocolate Glaze: (optional)
1. 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2. 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3. 4.5 Oz good quality chocolate chips/couverture/coarsely chopped chocolate bar, preferably semi sweet
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees(F). Prepare a 9″ pan by greasing and dusting with flour. 2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and keep aside.
3. Beat cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2-3 minutes, until well blended. Slowly add sugar, beating on medium till light and fluffy (and super yummy :D).
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 30-40 seconds after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
5. Mix in the flour mixture till combined. remember to scrape the bowl in between using a spatula to ensure a proper mix.
6. Spread half batter in the prepared pan. Now pour the melted cherry chips and top with remaining batter. Once all the batter is in, drag a fork/knife/cake tester through the batter to create a marbled effect. Do not mix too much lest you get a uniform cake instead of a marbled one😀
7. Bake 75 odd minutes or till the cake is done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack and cool completely.
Make the glaze: (If using)
1. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat till its scalded (bubbles start forming on the sides). Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir to get a smooth mixture. Cool the glaze until for about 15 minutes at room temperature to allow it to thicken a bit. Now drizzle/pour over the cake and let it set in the fridge. Enjoy afterwards
1. You may use a little corn syrup in the glaze to make it even shinier.
2. Use the excess/dripped glaze to add oomph to your morning bread