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Banana-Nut Pound Cake

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup bourbon or low-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
  2. In large bowl beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Gradually add sugar, beating about 7 minutes or until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each; scrape bowl frequently. In a bowl combine bananas, bourbon, and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture; beat on low to medium speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in the pecans. Spread evenly in pan (pan will be full).
  3. Bake for 70 to 85 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with berries or ice cream, if desired.
From the Test Kitchen

Pan-choose a heavy 10-inch fluted tube pan (aka bundt® pan); avoid the intricately-designed tube pans as these may not hold as much batter. If using a lighter-weight fluted tube pan, the cake will take longer to bake, as the lighter-weight pan will not conduct heat as well as a heavier-weight pan. In either case, bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Ingredients: choose real butter (no substitutes or margarine); choose regular cream cheese (not light or fat-free); measure flour properly (lightly spoon through the container of flour, then lightly spoon into a dry measuring cup; level off at the top with a straight-edged tool); the 3 cups sugar is correct for this size of cake. The 1/2 teaspoon baking powder is correct; this cake relies mostly upon the air beaten into the batter for leavening. So, it is very important to follow the timings in the beating steps. You will notice during the 7-minute beating step that the batter gets very light in color and grows in volume; this is the air being incorporated. Batter: This cake makes 8 cups of batter, so will fill the pan at least 3/4 full. When baked, it will come to the top of the tube in the middle and will dome in the center but will not bake over the edge of the pan.

Finished Cake: This cake is a pound cake, which will have a fine, dense, yet moist crumb, as compared to a cake mix-type cake, which has a light and feathery crumb.



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