Chocolate-Orange Pound Cake
A fine-grained but dense pound cake, this combines the wonderful
flavors of chocolate and orange (although you could use another
flavor of liqueur, if you wish). The syrup keeps the cake moist,
so it will last for at least four days at room temperature (if
stored airtight), and it freezes nicely, too. Note that the
syrup has to cool completely before it is used, so you might
want to start it while the cake bakes. Ideal for dessert or
cups sifted cake flour
- 3/4 cup
plus 2 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/8 tsp.
- 1 cup
unsalted butter, softened
cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup
firmly packed dark brown sugar
rind of 1/2 large, deep-colored orange
- 1 tsp.
- 6 eggs,
graded "large", separated
- 1/4 tsp.
cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup
- 2/3 cup
- 3 Tbsp.
Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 10" by 4" one-piece tube pan with vegetable shortening.
Line the bottom with a circle of wax paper cut to fit, grease
the paper, then dust the pan lightly with flour, knocking out
any excess (don't forget to grease and flour the center tube
right up to the top). Set aside. Into large bowl, sift together
the cake flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer (fitted with paddle beater,
if available), beat together the softened butter, 1 cup granulated
sugar (reserve remainder), brown sugar, orange rind, and vanilla
at a low speed until well-combined. Increase speed to medium;
beat for 2 minutes, stopping halfway through to scrape down
bowl and beater(s) with rubber spatula. At a low speed, add
egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each until incorporated
thoroughly. Again, scrape down bowl and beaters; beat mixture
one minute at medium speed.
At lowest speed, alternately add sifted dry ingredients in four
additions and buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending
with sifted dry ingredients and beating after each addition
just until incorporated. It might be necessary to increase speed
slightly to incorporate ingredients toward the end of the mixing
process, as this is a stiff batter; alternatively, a sturdy
whisk can be used to blend in the last of the sifted dry ingredients
just until combined. Remove from mixer.
In clean medium bowl with clean whisk beater(s), combine egg
whites and cream of tartar. Beat at high speed until very frothy.
Gradually add reserved 2/3 cup granulated sugar, beating well
after each addition. Beat at high speed until mixture just holds
a stiff peak but is not dry.
With large rubber spatula, fold a large spoonful of the meringue
into the chocolate batter to lighten it (don't fold in the meringue
too thoroughly now). Fold in another large spoonful of meringue,
again, not too thoroughly. Fold remaining meringue into chocolate
batter in two additions, folding after each addition just until
no white streaks remain.
Turn batter into prepared pan, which will be rather full. With
pan on level surface, hold one side with either hand; twist
back-and-forth on surface to level batter. Now, with back of
large spoon, form a deep trench in the middle of the batter,
all the way around the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 70 to 80 minutes, or just until a
toothpick inserted in center emerges with only a few moist crumbs
clinging to it. While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup (see
below). Do not overbake. Remove pan to cooling rack.
Let cake stand in pan 15 minutes. CAREFULLY loosen cake from
tube and sides of pan with thin, stiff-bladed spatula (preferably
a plastic one that won't scratch your pan). Invert pan onto
cooling rack; remove pan. Gently peel wax paper by outer edges
from bottom of cake.
Now, look at the cake sides. Sometimes, the sides of the cake
have a tendecy to "peel" slightly. If your cake is doing this,
leave it to cool completely, upside down (you can mask any peeling
on the sides later). If the sides are OK, you can decide whether
you want to serve the cake inverted, as it is now, or right
side up. If the former, leave it to cool completely; if the
answer is the latter; re-invert the cake onto another cooling
rack and leave it to cool completely.
Syrup: Combine granulated sugar and water in small, heavy-bottomed
saucepan with tight- fitting lid. Place over medium-high heat;
stir almost constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a rolling
boil. Remove from heat; cover tightly. Cool completely at room
temperature. Add liqueur just before using.
When the cake has cooled and the syrup is completed, transfer
the cake to a serving plate.Use a toothpick to prick many holes
(that go about halfway down) in the current top surface of the
cake. Using a pastry brush, slowly and carefully brush the syrup
all over the top of the cake. This will seem like a lot of syrup,
but the cake will absorb it all. Try to make sure that not too
much of the syrup runs down the sides or into the tube of the
cake--you'll get some that does, though--OK. When all of the
syrup has been added, cover the cake airtight; allow to stand
at room temperature at least 6 hours before serving.
Just before serving, if desired, sift a light dusting of confectioners
sugar all over the top and/or sides of the cake (this will mask
any peeling on the sides). To serve, cut slices with a large,
sharp, serrated knife. Store cake airtight at room temperature
up to four days, or freeze for longer storage.
12 to 16 servings
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