Tuesday, February 19, 2008

[Cake] Chocolate Pound Cake

My wife has been going gaga over this recipe. Why, I'm not sure - the flavor is fine, but it's not amazingly moist, and not dense enough for me. But she likes loves it, and that's good enough. Bonus for all you aspiring bakers - this is a pretty simple recipe, and comes together quickly.

Not my recipe - I'm not that talented. Shamelessly cribbed from Paula Deen, here:

Two notes:
1) This is an _easy_ cake. The only downside is that it cooks for over an hour and a half. But it takes maybe 15 minutes to put together. The secret, for those of you new to baking (Baking DBAs in training, mayhaps?), is to make sure the butter/shortening & sugar are thoroughly creamed. What I normally do is let the butter hit room temp (or about 12 seconds in the microwave), toss in the mixing bowl of our stand mixer (which is getting so much more use these days now that I'm baking) along with sugar, and put on 4 for about 5 minutes. What you're doing is using the sugar to puncture the cell walls in the butter. That's what "creaming" does. The longer it goes, the lighter and fluffier it gets. Five minutes may be too long, and that may be why it's not moist enough. I don't know. But it comes out fine, so I'm doing it that way for now. Make sure that, after creaming, to turn it down to low while you add all the other ingredients - otherwise you wind up with a cloud of flouy/chocolate/etc.

2) A 10" bundt pan can mean many things. Our 10" (across) bundt pan holds 12 cups, which isn't anywhere near big enough. The first time I made it, we wound up having to pour some out into a second loaf pan. The second time, I went looking for this mythical "ten inch bundt". Um, yeah. Or not. Fortunately, it turns out that an angel-food-cake pan, which normally holds 14-16 cups, is big enough. And since it has the "smokestack" in the middle, can sub for a bundt without any problems. (This was told to me by the owner of the local kitchen supply store - nice guy, they're on Little Road, just south of I-20 but north of the Little Road exit, in Arlington, Texas). Practical upshot: make sure your cake pan is big enough. Yes, this will rise.

Here's the recipe.
"The Bag Lady's Favorite Chocolate Pound Cake"
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk [this is probably optional - the taste it imparts is fine but not great. However, since buttermilk is acidic you'll have to change the recipe to deal with the pH change - no easy feat - TBD]

Special equipment: 10-inch bundt pan [again, use an angel-food cake pan - TBD]

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa and set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well after each addition.

Add flour and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until cake is done.

Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto cake plate and serve.

No comments: