Reformed heavyweight, this pound cake is a delectably healthier version


This photo provided by EatingWell magazine shows a slice of Cream Cheese Pound Cake, served with Quick Cherry Sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. This is a delectably healthier version of a favorite dessert, made with a recipe that streamlines the sugars and fats, without sacrificing the smoothly rich taste. Recipe and photo are from the February/March issue of EatingWell magazine.

AP Photo/EatingWell/Ken Burris
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 1:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 1:49 p.m.

Traditional pound cake may be made with more of the ingredients we shouldn't eat than is good for us - but it has so many fans it's not surprising someone has persisted in figuring out a recipe that streamlines the sugars and fats, without sacrificing the smoothly rich taste.

Meet the benefactors, from EatingWell magazine: Recipe developer Katie Webster, and the test kitchen team who cross-tested the recipe after it was developed. The successful mission is described in detail in the magazine's February/March issue.

This revised version of the cream cheese pound cake is made with half whole-wheat flour, 38 percent less fat, and has 30 percent fewer calories, but still has the dense, fine crumb of the original, Webster points out. (Specifically, the original recipe has 307 calories per helping, 16 grams of total fat and no fiber; the new EatingWell version has 217 calories, 10 grams of total fat and 1 gram of fiber.)

"Serve this rich cake on its own, sprinkled with powdered sugar or with either sour cherry or chocolate sauce," Webster suggests. A recipe for a quick cherry sauce is included with the revised cake recipe. When you make the cake, be sure to use Neufchatel-type cream cheese, which has 1/3 less fat than regular, not "light" cream cheese, which has even less fat.

This is a fine cake to have in hand when people are around. You can make it ahead, and wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

(Active time 30 minutes; start to finish 3 hours, including cooling time)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 large egg whites

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese

Preheat oven to 325 F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk whole eggs, buttermilk, oil, corn syrup and vanilla in another medium bowl until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.

Beat butter and Neufchatel in a large bowl until creamy. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixtures, beating until just smooth. Fold in about one-third of the egg whites with a rubber spatula until just smooth and no white streaks remain. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted into it comes out clean and the top springs back when touched, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto the rack; let cool for at least 1 hour more before slicing.

Makes 24 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 217 cal., 10 g fat (4 g saturated), 44 mg chol., 29 g carbo., 4 g pro., 1 g fiber, 140 mg sodium.

Frozen pitted cherries make this luscious sauce a snap to make. Try substituting frozen raspberries if you prefer. You can make it ahead, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Quick Cherry Sauce

(Start to finish 15 minutes)

Two 10-ounce bags frozen pitted cherries, preferably sour cherries

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup lemon juice

Bring cherries, sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Stir 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and stir into the boiling cherry mixture. Return to a boil, stirring constantly; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Makes about 4 cups, for 24 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 36 cal., 0 g fat, 0 mg chol., 9 g carbo., 0 g pro., 0 g fiber, 1 mg sodium.

(Recipe reprinted by permission from EatingWell magazine February/March 2006 issue.)

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