Tips: As the name suggests, this pound cake is moderately
chocolate (and somewhat sweet) in nature. It’s very fine-textured
as well. Nice by itself or with a cup of tea or coffee (or milk);
to dress it up, serve a slice with a good vanilla ice cream, a bit
of warmed hot fudge sauce, and some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
You’ll need an electric stand mixer for this thick and heavy
batter, as well as a 9 inch diameter tube pan (at least 2-3/4 inches
tall) for baking. It is important not to overbake this. Store it
airtight at room temperature for a day or three, or freeze it for
Yield: At least 12 Servings
- 4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process (alkalized) cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 5 eggs, graded “large”, preferably at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. dark rum OR brown crème de cacao OR a mixture
of the two
Grease the entire inside (including the tube) of a 9 inch diameter
tube pan at least 2-3/4 inches tall. Line the bottom with a circle
of wax paper cut to fit, grease the paper, and dust the entire inside
of the pan lightly with flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside.
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place finely chopped chocolate in small microwaveable bowl; add
about half of hot water. Allow to stand for about a minute, then
stir or whisk until smooth (if necessary, place bowl of chocolate
in microwave at medium (50%) power for a short interval, then stir
or whisk well until smooth). Gradually add remaining hot water and
set aside to cool. Into a medium bowl, sift together cake flour,
Dutch process cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer (fitted with paddle beater if available),
combine softened butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed
(speed 4 on my KitchenAid) for three full minutes, stopping once
to scrape down bowl and beater(s) with a rubber spatula. At a low
speed, add eggs, one at a time. It is important to scrape down the
bowl and beater(s) after the addition of every two or three eggs.
Adding the eggs will seem to curdle the batter, but don’t
worry about it now. When all eggs have been added, increase speed
to medium again and beat for one full minute (this should smooth
out the batter a bit).
Add the rum or crème de cacao to the melted chocolate-water
mixture; set aside briefly. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients
to the batter in the mixing bowl; blend at a low speed until incorporated.
Add chocolate-liqueur mixture, which may be slightly warm or cooled
to room temperature; beat in at a low speed until incorporated.
Scrape down mixer bowl and beater(s). Add remaining sifted dry ingredients
and beat in at a low speed just until incorporated; you might want
to use a sturdy whisk to incorporate the last of the dry ingredients
and make sure there are no lumps in this heavy batter. Sometimes,
the batter still looks a little curdled at this stage, but it should
bake up fine.
Turn batter into prepared pan. Spread level. With back of large
spoon, form a slight “trench” around center of batter,
pushing it slightly higher at edges and onto tube. Place in preheated
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, turning cake back-to-front once after about
30 minutes of baking time. Cake will rise and develop deep cracks
on top while baking. As top crust is heavy, test for doneness by
inserting toothpick into center of cake in one of the cracks. Cake
is done when toothpick emerges with only a few moist crumbs still
clinging to it; do not overbake!
Remove to cooling rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes, then loosen cake
gently from pan edges and tube. Carefully invert onto second rack,
remove pan, peel off wax paper circle, and re-invert to cool right
side up. Cool completely before serving or storing.
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