Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Have you ever had one of those days when you just NEED some chocolate to cure whatever ails you? Who am I kidding, of course you have. Or maybe I’m just projecting my issues on you…? Either way chocolate = answer to all questions.

After committing to a healthier lifestyle, chocolate is the one tiny thing that keeps me from being 100% committed. There is just something about it. It’s rich, melty amazingness just draws me in every.single.time. When I see a new, intriguing flavor of chocolate (Wasabi Dark Chocolate, anyone?) I just can’t help myself. I’m very serious about my chocolate! I get angry when it goes to waste (not all recipes work out, whomp) or when it doesn’t match my high hopes or when things just aren’t… chocolatey enough. I’m sure you understand, right?

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

So upon seeing this recipe for chocolate velvet pound cake, I was a bit bummed to find that there aren’t mounds of melted chocolate in it. I was so sure that the chocolate flavor would be too muted for me to fully enjoy it. I’m also not a huge fan of pound cakes, so sadly the cards were mentally stacked against this one before I even got started. But I pressed on, thinking that I could just give it away to someone less picky crazy than me.

Thaaaaaaaaank goodness I pressed on with this. This pound cake was delightful!! That’ll teach me not to judge a book by it’s cover. Probably not. But it sounds good ;)This pound cake came together fairly quickly (it’s definitely no layer cake!) and the end result was smooth, velvetey, rich chocolatey deliciousness. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone and drizzled a bit of chocolate ganache on my slice (it didn’t need it, I just have issues.) If you’re a chocolate connoisseur like myself, do yourself a favor and try this.

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake
Yields about 6 cups of batter (enough for one 6-cup bundt pan or one 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8-3/4 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon water, at room temperature
2 teaspoons espresso powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature*

* I used buttermilk powder and it still turned out great! My powder requires that you use water as a liquid in place of the buttermilk and add the powder with the dry ingredients. If you decide to go this route, please follow the directions on the container of your powdered buttermilk.

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly spray your bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. If using a loaf pan, spray with non-stick cooking spray and fit it with parchment paper to extend up both long sides to the top of the pan (leaving an overhang for easy removal once cool). If your pans have a nasty habit of sticking, butter the pan and then lightly dust the pan with cocoa powder.

Cream the butter and sugar: Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium-high until light – almost white- in color, 4 to 5 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula.

Add the eggs: In the small bowl, stir together the water and espresso powder until smooth. Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk to blend. With the mixer running on medium, add the eggs to the butter mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time (I’m impatient so I eyeballed and probably ended up going a few tablespoons at a time), allowing each addition to completely blend in before adding the next. About halfway through, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then continue adding the eggs. Scrape down the bowl again.

Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately: With the fine-mesh strainer, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the medium bowl and whisk to blend. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, beginning with one-third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk; repeat, then finish with flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand if necessary. (I normally give the batter a few quick turns with a silicone spatula before calling it done.)

Bake the cake: Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. When cool, remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and serve.

Storing: The cake can be made several days ahead and kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap. Or double-wrap it, put in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 8 weeks.

Barely adapted from Sur La Table’s The Art & Soul of Baking

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

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TWD – Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake

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Me and marble cakes have a love/hate relationship.

I love ’em. They hate me.

It seems that I’m either over-zealous when it comes to swirling the dough and then there’s no pretty swirly-ness, just… mess. Or I’m careful and I barely touch the dough when swirling…. the result? Just mess. *sigh* I will master you one day, marble cakes. mark. my. words. *insert dark ominous tones here*

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I alternated the chocolate/mocha and vanilla/walnut doughs and then stabbed the knife in, gave it one swirl and left it alone. I must admit that this is the most definitive marbling I’ve ever achieved, so I am a bit proud of myself. Next time, I won’t alternate the doughs and swirl once and see what I come up with!

Either way, this was fun and exciting and it was liked extremely well by the fiance’s co-workers. It prompted two of them to say “I wish my wife/girlfriend baked like this.” That’s the male equivalent of a compliment just in case you were befuddled there for a second 🙂

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A big thanks goes out to Erin of When in Doubt… Leave it at 350 for choosing this one! Not only was it a hit, it was fun!! Head on over to her blog for the recipe. Then click here for some tips and pointers. Then click here for other bakers who baked this as well 🙂

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Coming up next Tuesday: Swedish Visiting Cake on page 197

TWD – Milk Chocolate (bundt) Cupcakes

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Can you imagine what the world would be like if I worked at Williams-Sonoma?

Ok, I think the proper question is what would my KITCHEN be like if I worked at Williams-Sonoma? The answer? Intensively cluttered. I would have every knick-knack that I don’t need and everything that came in red, pink or was pint-sized would be mine. This includes this mini bundt pan that I’ve had my eye on at WS. You see, I have a problem with buying things that are smaller than its normal, universally accepted counterparts. I think its cute. And that’s my justification. That’s it… its cute. But the frugal woman inside of me has yet to grant me permission to buy the mini bundt pan.

You can imagine my face and my annoyance when I read this week’s TWD recipe. Oh the glares that I shot at the book would make any man shudder. Or at least think twice before denying me a mini bundt pan.

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On to the cake! I made it in cupcake form instead of adorable, stylish little bundts (no, I am NOT bitter) and it took the full 23 minutes for the toothpick to come out with moist crumblettes on it. The texture reminds me slightly of pound cake because of its tender and dense crumb. My walnut swirl wasn’t as beautiful as I’d imagined but no one really cared. *sigh* I guess I’m the only one who likes her goodies to be aesthetically pleasing as well.

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It lacked a bit in flavor, but I mainly chalk that up to the chocolate: I used Nestle which is what I had on hand rather than a higher quality chocolate. All in all it was still tasty.

The only thing I would do differently next time is double the ganache recipe because I didn’t even have enough to fully cover 5 cupcakes, and the recipe yielded 7 regular sized ones. I mean, what are people going to be more upset with: barely any ganache or enough ganache to make the world go ’round? It’s not rocket science people 🙂

Thank you to Kristin of I’m Right About Everything for choosing this recipe (head on over for the recipe). And for silently urging me to get that mini bundt pan. Just in case I didn’t long for it enough before, I am lusting over it now. 😉 Be sure to check up on the TWD Bakers as well.

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