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Friday, April 5, 2013

Double Duty

My sister once told me that quick breads and muffins are really just cake.  No!  How can that be? I would never eat cake for breakfast.  Muffins and quick breads are different, aren't they?

But the whole quick bread as cake thing stuck in my mind.  If it looks like a cake and tastes like a cake, then it must be cake, right?  So why not make a quick bread for dessert?

As you all know by now, I am a lover of pound cakes: classic pound cake, lemon pound cake, orange pound cake -- any pound cake, for that matter.  I love the simplicity.  I love the way they cut into such a nice little slice with no stray crumbs or broken edges.  Pound cake are as neat as a pin, and I like things neat as a pin.

But I digress.  Back to the quick bread as a dessert.

I was paging through my Williams-Sonoma catalogue the other day and came across this recipe for Cherry-Almond Quick Bread.  Despite being categorized as a quick bread, it looked a lot like a pound cake to me.  Okay, maybe not a traditional pound cake -- it only has 1 stick of butter- but a pound cake nonetheless.

And like most pound cakes, and quick breads for that matter, it took just minutes to mix up and get into the oven.

The result was a firm yet moist loaf studded with just the right amount of dried tart cherries and just a hint of almond.  And it was perfect for dessert and then with breakfast the next morning.

Recipe:  Cherry-Almond Quick Bread
(Williams-Somona, 2013, Courtesy of The Invisible Chef)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. almond extract


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cherries and toss to distribute evenly.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter and almond extract. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely before serving. Makes 1 loaf.

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