Toasted Almond Pound Cake with Berry Sauce

Pound cake is often made in a loaf pan, but don’t let its homey look fool you. This simple-looking loaf is bursting with a wonderfully rich almond flavor, thanks to the toasted, ground almonds that stand in for part of the flour. It’s the perfect backdrop for a fresh raspberry-blueberry sauce. And it's perfect for Easter!

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, ground*
1/4 cup sour cream

4 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with shortening; sprinkle with flour.

2. In large bowl, beat butter at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add 1 cup sugar; beat 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract and vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in ground almonds.

4. Beat sour cream into batter at low speed. Continuing at low speed, beat flour mixture into batter for 10 seconds. Finish stirring batter with rubber spatula until completely blended.

5. Spoon batter into pan. Level with spatula; tap pan firmly on counter to settle batter. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges of cake pull away from sides of pan. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan; invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely.

6. To make sauce, place 2 cups of the raspberries in food processor; process until pureed. Press through fine mesh strainer or pass through food mill using finest insert. Place puree in small bowl. Whisk in 1/3 cup of the sugar until blended. Whisk in lemon juice. In medium bowl, toss together remaining 2 cups raspberries, blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar. Serve cake with berry sauce.

TIP *To toast almonds, place on baking sheet; bake at 350°F. for 6 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool. Place toasted almonds in food processor; process until finely ground.

12 servings

PER SERVING: 365 calories, 17 g total fat (8.5 g saturated fat), 5 g protein, 49.5 g carbohydrate, 85 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 4 g fiber