Disaster-Prone Cherry Pound Cake

On two separate occasions when I've been making this cake, the oven has spontaneously switched itself into "self-clean" mode. The change was noted because of the smell of smoke, about an hour into the baking. The cake was removed from the oven while the oven was cooled, then placed back in the oven in one case; the other time, the half-baked cake was brought to the home of the friend whose party it was being served at, and the baking finished there. After the layer of charcoal was removed from the top of the cake (caused by the broiler element of the oven), it came out just fine. Likewise, when another friend tried the recipe and the rising cake overflowed the pan and made a charred mess all over the bottom of her oven, what was left in the pan was still OK. There have been a couple of occasions when an error was made during the mixing, and then fixed once, for example, I forgot the baking powder until the batter was about to go into the pan; the powder was mixed with a half cup of flour and then mixed into the batter with enough extra milk to give the proper consistency, and it still came out the same.

A very good, very forgiving recipe. Made with red and green glazed cherries, makes a very nice holiday cake. Many other variations are possible.

1 1/2 c butter or margarine
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp each vanilla, lemon, almond extracts
4 c flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
3 c (= 1 1/2 lb.) glazed cherries, halved, or see below

Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs one at a time, then extracts; beat well. Combine 3 1/2 c flour, salt and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk. Toss remaining flour with cherries and fold into batter. Pour into greased, floured Bundt pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 3/4 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.

As usual with the recipes I do, many variations are possible. I've had good results by replacing the glazed cherries with dried pineapple chunks and with chocolate chips.

The original version of this recipe was given in the back of a copy of TV Guide; it was given as the Christmas cake that Anne Murray makes.

Copyright (C) 1997 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5

jpolowinXYZZy@sympatico.ca but remove the XYZZy it's a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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