I was recently looking at a catalog and saw a praline pound cake. It was quite expensive. I wonder if any readers have a recipe for me to try.
Deborah Griswold, Dunedin
This New Orleans praline pound cake recipe comes from Joan White in Malvern, Pa. This excellent recipe is a keeper. The house smelled like fresh pralines while it was baking. The history of the praline dates to 17th century France, where the confection was usually caramelized sugar and almonds. In America it's traditionally pecans cooked in brown sugar and cream. A basic praline recipe calls for pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream or milk, and butter, all of which this recipe has.
A few notes: I baked the cake for 75 minutes and thought it was done. It was not — and I didn't know it until I took it out of the pan. If you use the toothpick test as I did, check more than one spot, or use the tests Joan suggests in the recipe. Use a stand mixer; this is a lot of batter and a hand mixer will probably not do the job. Don't over-mix. You might want to double the sauce recipe. Though the cake doesn't need it, you will want to put more on it. It's that good.
Jennie Billieux of Spring Hill would like a gnocchi recipe that is made with instant potatoes. . . . Largo resident Vickie Nichols would like a Texas tornado cake recipe. She said she ate it at Duff's Family Buffet, where it was made with crushed pineapple and had a coconut and nut topping.
Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, city and phone number.