Thursday, July 24, 2014

Almond-Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Lemon Neufchâtel {Pass the Cook Book Club}

This month for the Pass the Cook Book Club, Julie picked the cookbook,  Emeril's Kicked Up Sandwiches cookbook.  Each month a group member chooses a cookbook and picks three recipes.  You choose your favorite recipe from the three, cook it up, and share the adventure with all of you.

One of the things I love most about this group is learning about new cookbooks. I have my fair share of cookbooks but it never ceases to amazing me the vast number I have no idea exist. As you can imagine, Emeril's Kicked Up Sandwiches cookbook, has all sorts of sandwich recipes but each recipe makes everything from scratch.  You can find all kinds of bread and sauces within this book along with completely amazing sandwich combinations.  

The options for this month were Almond Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese, Turkey Waldorf Sandwich, and Beef Shwarma with Tzatziki Sauce.  They all sounded pretty yummy but I had neglected my sweet tooth for a while now. The sound of a sweetened up sandwich won me over.

I left out the poppy seeds - they are just not my thing. I also added some raspberries to the sandwich filling because well, they are pretty and wonderful.  It summer!  This was the perfect snack.  The cake itself wasn't too sweet so it didn't seem excessive for a big sliced sandwich in the middle of the day.  However, it was sweet enough to call this treat dessert after dinner. 

The only down side to this recipe was the fact the oven had to be on for over an hour. I made the stupid mistake of making this on a hot and humid day in the middle of the afternoon. My bad.  Yup, I just said my bad.  

Almond-Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Lemon Neufchâtel

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert lemon
Ingredients (serves 8)
    For the Cake:
    • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
    • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar
    • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
    For the Lemon Neufchâtel:
    • (makes 1 cup)
    • 8 ounces Neufchâtel or cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    For the Cake:
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease with butter and lightly flour an 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on low speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the granulated sugar, and continue to mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 egg, and when it is completely incorporated, add one-third of the flour. Mix for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour.

    Add the almond extract and the poppy seeds, and mix for 30 seconds more, until evenly distributed. Scrape the bowl with a rubber-spatula and transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.

    Bake for 35 minutes. Then rotate the pan and continue to bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one of the cracks has a trace of crumb. Removed the cake from the oven, set the pan on a wire rack, and let it cool for 10 minutes.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

    Pun a thin metal spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan, and place a wire rack or a plate on top. Carefully invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the loaf pan. Set another wire rack on the bottom of the cake, and turn it right side up.

    Set the rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet, and drizzle with lemon glaze over the top of the warm cake. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the glaze around the sides of the cake. You can scrap any glaze that has dripped onto the parchment and drizzle back onto the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours.

    For the Lemon Neufchâtel:
    Combine the Neufchâtel, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl, and blend well with a rubber spatula or spoon. Use at room temperature. (Cover and refrigerate any unused portion for up to 1 week.)

    To assemble the sandwiches, cut the cake into ½” thick slices. Spread the Lemon Neufchâtel between 2 slices, forming a cake sandwich. Enjoy!
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    If you want to become a part of the cookbook club read this post and click for the Facebook group

    Here are what the other lovely bloggers came up with for July:

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    A lazy summer and WIAW

    Happy Hump Day!  Yeah for being half way done with the week.

    Monday I woke up early to go to Maine. I had two meetings. I haven't been up that way in a while and I forgot how long the drive is. By the time I was on my way home yesterday I was so sick of being in a car. 

    Breakfast was at Dunkin' Donuts. There happened to be one right across the parking lot from the hotel.  Not my favorite thing for breakfast but it works. Somehow though they always get my order wrong. No veggie cream cheese for me this day. 

    Lunch was on the road home. We stopped in Portland for Elevation Burger. Kind of like Five Guys only way better. I did the basic cheese burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and jalapenos. 

    Back at home we had homemade pizza. His and Her's. My was fresh mozzarella and garlic. Mr. J had some pepperoni, onions and peppers.  I forgot to put on the fresh basil from our garden but it made it on the slices before we ate. Always a welcomed addition.

    What is the last long car ride you went on?

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    On the Road Again and WIAW

    After traveling this past weekend to see my brother and his family we made it back home only to turn around and take off again. Before leaving though we Mr. J  managed to whip up this fantastic dinner on the grill. We had tons of veggies from a CSA just calling to be grilled. Mr. J was loving the grilled red and yellow beets. My favorites were the beet greens and zucchini. 

    Breakfast was a fruit smoothie. OJ, frozen banana, and blueberries. It has been so hot. Getting ready in the morning is not fun.  Smoothies. Cold smoothies make mornings much, much better. 

    The airport I am in and out of the most does not have the best dining options. The one sit down restaurant has a chicken sandwich I normally get however last weekend I switched it up with the nachos. They hit the spot. I was so looking forward to getting them again.  Mr. J got hot wings and then ended up nibbling away half of my nachos. 

    Dinner was at my favorite restaurant in Clemson, South Carolina. The Blue Heron always has good food. I got the Ribeye steak with green beans and french fries on the side. 

    Looking at this post I think I need to nix the red meat for the next couple of days.  It was good eating though. 

    I also love the Southern hospitality and manners.  Yes, sir.  Yes, mam. All the men always hold open the doors. Seriously, why do the Northeast states not have the same manners? 

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