Friday, April 4, 2014

Double Chocolate Pound Cake

My love for simple cakes has been very well documented on this site.  In fact, the last cake post I shared with you guys was probably the simplest, most delicious cake I've made to date, and here I am, only two posts later, sharing yet another really simple cake.  If simple cakes aren't your thing, then don't worry.  Just stay tuned until next week when I share with you a cake that is anything but simple, and comes with frosting and fillings, and a whole laundry list of ingredients.  It's not the typical cake I share, but oh man, it was delicious.  But enough talk about this surprise, mystery complex cake.  You'll have to wait and see next week.  For now, let's focus on the amazingly simple cake that's in front of you.  Double Chocolate Pound Cake.  Yum.

Pound cake is one of my all time favorite cakes.  I think it has to do with the fact that my dad absolutely loves pound cake.  Like, seriously loves pound cake.  This guy is anything but a sweets/desserts person and typically focuses all his intense adoration for baked goods on bread, but he makes an exception for things like rice pudding, flan, and pound cake.  I remember that my mom would buy my dad those Entenmann's pound cakes, and I used to loveee those as a kid.  She usually bought the plain ones, because my dad liked those the best, but every now and then she would buy one of the marbled vanilla-chocolate pound cakes.  Whenever that happened, I was the happiest kid ever, because as much as I loved plain pound cake, I loved marbled pound cakes even more.  I guess it was the chocolate fiend in me!  There was usually way more vanilla cake than chocolate in the marble pound cakes, which I always found upsetting.    A pound cake craving came to me a few weekends ago, so when the time came to actually make one, I knew that it had to be double chocolate or nothing. 

I really like this version of a double chocolate pound cake because it's not overwhelmingly chocolatey, which is a weird thing for me to say.  I usually love over-indulgent, rich chocolate everything, but I think that in a simple pound cake like this one, a more subtle chocolate flavor is actually better.  The pound cake is studded with chocolate chips which provide little hidden bits of extra chocolate, which complements the more simple chocolate cake really nicely.  

Pound cakes are pretty awesome because they're so simple to make.  In fact, they're one of those things where you don't really have to even have a recipe to make them!  Pound cakes are called pound cakes because traditionally, they're made with a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs.  Now, making a cake with a pound of each of those ingredients would yield an incredibly large cake, so pound cake recipes are typically scaled down into more manageable proportions, but the ratio of flour to butter to sugar to eggs remains the same.  Granted, not all pound cakes are technically made this way (kind of like this one), but the texture and look is very similar to that of a more traditional pound cake.  It's definitely a dense cake, as most pound cakes tend to be, yet it's still light and goes down easily.  It's also incredibly easy to mix up!

This pound cake has a short list of ingredients, but it's the way they're mixed together that is the key to getting this pound cake just right.  Essentially, the butter and sugar get beaten together for 8 whole minutes, which results in the butter becoming incredibly light and fluffy.  The eggs are also thoroughly beaten into the batter, which is important because this pound cake has no baking soda or baking powder.  Because everything has had so much air incorporated into it from beating the cake batter for so long, the cake is able to rise beautifully without the need for additional leavenings.  The only suggestion I would give regarding this cake is to ensure that you coat the chocolate chips in a little bit of flour before mixing them into the cake batter.  I completely forgot to do this and as a result, the chocolate chips in my pound cake kind of sunk to the bottom.  Regardless, this pound cake was perfectly delicious!

Double Chocolate Pound Cake
recipe from Martha Stewart


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Lightly grease and flour (I actually used cocoa powder instead of flour) a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 7 minutes, until very light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beat for one more minute.  Beat in the vanilla, and followed by the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix completely and scrape down the bowl after each addition.  With the mixture running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.  In a bowl, toss the chocolate chips with a little bit of flour to coat, and then shake out the excess.  Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about an hour and 15 minutes.  Set the cake on a wire rack, and let it cool in the pan for about an hour. Remove the cake from the pan, and let it cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!

Makes 1 5 x 9 inch loaf


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