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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Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

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I have missed every fun food related “holiday” since, well… ever. I missed Pi Day, Nutella Day, CCC week, Pound Cake Day (or was it week?) either way, I miss EVERYTHING!! So I WASN’T missing the chance to make something awesome for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Enter: Green Velvet Cupcakes! The color is AMAZING!! The texture of these is fluffy and moist and they bake up so pretty!! If you’re looking for drop dead delicious chocolate flavor, look elsewhere. These have a hint of chocolate flavor but vanilla takes the spot light. But there’s something to be said for aesthetics!! I sent half to work with the fiance (and I’m happy to report that they are all gone!) and the other half went to work with me. Not even the UPS guy could turn one down.

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As soon as the green shock-and-awe wore off, there wasn’t a sound. Except the munching and “mmmm, oh yum’s” filling the air. I’ll be using this recipe as my go to Red Velvet cake recipe as well, but I’ll be playing around with different chocolate measurements.

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I topped these with a tad of vanilla frosting (although cream cheese is ideal, but when you discover that you only have half a block left, this can pose a problem. HALF A BLOCK?! Who has HALF a block? Ugh.) and green sprinkles.

They are SURE to delight!!

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Red Green Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa (mine was heaping)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup oil (use 1-1/2 for a layer cake)
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. green food coloring (usually one standard McCormick bottle)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line two cupcake pans with liners.
  • Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix starting on LOW to get things going(this is ONE ENTIRE BOTTLE of food coloring, you don’t want it on your clothes!) then on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  • Fill each liner about 2/3 of the way (I had extra batter left over so I filled em up about 3/4 of the way) and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes for a layer cake and about 18 minutes for cupcakes. Or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
  • Then make the frosting (which I wasn’t too crazy about but below is the recipe in case you’re interested).

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book

Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

After seeing how fun baking something like this for St. Patty’s day was, I vow to bake more fun themed things for foodie holidays. Just do me a favor? Remind me when they are 😉

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SMS – Red Velvet (cup)Cakes

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I’ll start this post by telling you a little embarrassing baking secret (I sure have a lot of those, don’t I): up until a few years ago, I always thought Red Velvet was the flavor of the Red Velvet cake. I never knew it was just chocolate cake dyed with red food coloring. Don’t laugh… too hard. When you grow up in a world where everything has a different name and you aren’t taught the in’s and out’s of baking… things can get confusing. I guess I was just enamored with the beautiful red cake to notice that it was just red chocolate cake.

Well, my cake isn’t very red. It’s more of a burnt reddish color. Mental note for next time: add more red food coloring!! I also had to improvise on some ingredients due to lack thereof. Read on:

buttercream… check
red wine vineagar… red wine vinegar?! Who buys this crap?!?!” *mumbles in futility*
*sniffs buttercream* “BLEGH! How long has that been…” *checks expiration date, gasps, chucks buttercream*

SO, I subbed equal amount of sour cream for the buttercream and just left out the red wine vinegar. I had regular white vinegar but something told me that it wouldn’t do as a substitute. I pressed on, praying to the baking gods for an edible cake-like substance.

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I didn’t have an occasion to bake a cake or a million cupcakes (according to other bakers, this recipe yielded a LOT of dough) so I made 1/3 of the recipe and still ended up with 31 mini cuppies. And OH BOY were they adorable!! I tried one two and they tasted like a moist chocolate cake… with an oddly not-quite-red-not-quite-brown tint to it. I sent them off to work with the fiance and they were gone before lunchtime… which is how I happen to measure my baking success 🙂

A big thank you to Rosy of Rosy Lips and Lavender for choosing this recipe, as it was the first time I’ve made red velvet cake from scratch! Check out her blog for the recipe and the other bakers to see how they made out with this recipe.

And please, save me from my embarrassment and tell me something embarrassing in YOUR baking life. 🙂

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