When looking through the Iowa State Fair cookbook a few weeks ago, I was wanting to make some desserts for a group of students coming to visit. I knew that there was one member of the group who was allergic to chocolate, which made this the perfect opportunity to try out the black pepper pound cake recipe I’d been eyeing for some time. I didn’t know what to expect — would the pepper seem out of place? I’ve tasted some great pairings of lemon and black pepper with chocolate, but what would this look like without the chocolate there? Luckily, the recipe still had lemon flavoring within it.
I have to admit, I was pretty delighted with the taste of the cake. The black pepper added some spiciness that was unexpected. With dessert, I do not often think I want something that is hot, but this was a subtle heat that added to the cake, but did not distract from it.
Black Pepper Pound Cake
1 c butter, softened
3 c sugar
3 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp lemon extract
3 c flour
1 c heavy cream
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in pepper and extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour alternately with cream; mix well. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake in 325 degree oven for 70 to 75 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.