How to bake the perfect pound cake

Dear Baker:
I have a great lemon pound cake recipe that calls for cake mix, eggs, oil, pudding and lemon juice that I bake in my bundt pan. I have seen recipes for lemon-blueberry pound cake but was wondering if I could just add fresh blueberries to this recipe? Also, since this cake comes out so good, is there a way to adapt a chocolate cake mix to make a chocolate pound cake? --iVillager margaretrolfe


Dear margaretrolfe:
I have found that adding in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of freshly washed blueberries per recipe works best. Adding more will prevent the cake from baking properly. Toss the berries in a scant amount of flour. Add them at the end when the batter has been mixed and gently stir them in with a mixing spoon. During baking, the blueberries may sink to the bottom because the batter may not be heavy enough to suspend the berries. Some people recommend lightly crushing the berries after dusting them with flour to slow the sinking, but then you get blueberry color all over the cake batter. For a pound cake recipe, I like to bake the cake as is and then serve it with fresh blueberry sauce. This is my favorite sauce. You can serve your pound cake with ice cream, and then drizzle warm blueberry sauce over both. If you make a chocolate pound cake, then make a raspberry sauce, use raspberries instead of blueberries, and top with whipped cream. Sarah's Blueberry Sauce (The Healthy Oven Baking Book, Doubleday, 1999) 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries 1/2 to 1 cup water, orange juice or pineapple juice 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon lemon peel 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch In a medium saucepan, whisk the water with the sugar and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add in the lemon juice and lemon peel and stir. Add the blueberries and stir for a few seconds (if using frozen blueberries, cook until thawed, about 1 minute). For a thicker sauce, use 1/2 cup. For a thinner sauce use 1 cup. If the sauce is too thick after adding in the blueberries, add in more water and stir for a few seconds to incorporate.

Sarah Phillips is the author of Healthy Oven Baking Book.

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