I’ve been craving creole cream cheese lately and was in Metairie the other day, so I stopped by Dorignac’s Food Center to pick up some.
Poppy Tooker has a recipe to make your own batch of this soft Creole cheese. It is good as a snack itself (with a little fruit, cream or sugar) or mixed into cheesecakes, pound cakes and ice creams.
I got the idea for this cake after reading a recipe from the Crescent City Farmer’s Market. Frankly, they didn’t have near enough pecans (only 1/4 cup AND none in the pound cake). Instead of topping with pecans and having a strip of cinnamon brown sugar, I combined them to make a sweet and crunchy topping. They also make it in a bundt pan. I much prefer using loaf pans, as it is an easier shape to cut and store.
Sometimes the cake falls beautifully out of the pan. Other times, the corners stick. As the cook, I get to lick the bowl with the batter and scoop out all the remnants as well as cut off the not perfect edges to eat them before anybody sees. It is a tough gig but someone has to do it.
Creole Cream Cheese and Pecan Pound Cake
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Creole cream cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grease and flour two loaf pans. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped pecans with brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well with your fingers to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add melted butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. Divide and press into the bottom of the loaf pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, salt, and baking soda. Use a stand mixer to cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with Creole cream cheese, mixing well after each addition. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.
Evenly divide the batter and pour over the pecan sugar mix in each of the prepared loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour and a half (I baked mine for 95 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Rotate pans about 45 minutes into the cook time. Once done, remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.
You may need to slice off the rounded portion before inverting, so that the pound cake sits evenly with the pecan topping on the top. Consider those slices the chef’s reward!