Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Twist on Pound Cake

This is my first pound cake. Believe it or not, I have never even tried pound cake until a few weeks ago! For some reason, it just never really appealed to me, but in thinking of things that my grandparents might like (I send them baked goods in the mail every few weeks and they tend to usually like things on the plain, more traditional side - here is what I made them last time) pound cake popped into my head. I didn't want to make just a regular plain version so I decided to try to jazz it up by going with a marbled pound cake recipe.

I ended up going with one from Cottage Living- and it came out wonderful. Nice marbling :) and husband said, "good flavor." How's that for a vote of approval? I should also note that as I'm making this pound cake, he informs me that pound cake is his favorite dessert? What??? You think you know someone....

Marbled Pound Cake (adapted from Cottage Living)

4-ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour

Note: I used Presto cake flour which has baking powder and salt already incorporated, so I omitted these ingredients from the original recipe. This was the only cake flour I could find in my area, so please refer to the original recipe if you are using a different brand (not self-rising).

1. Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 disposable 8x4 inch pans (I used these because I was mailing my cake; feel free to use one standard-sized loaf pan as original recipe indicates).

2. Microwave chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high for approximately 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Whisk in coffee and stir until mixture is smooth and glossy.

3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until creamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, incorporating each tablespoon before adding next. Beat mixture, scraping down sides of bowl, 3 to 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

4. Place sour cream in a small bowl. Add vanilla and stir until blended.

5. Alternate adding the flour and the sour cream mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Transfer 1 cup batter to a medium bowl. Add chocolate mixture, and stir until well blended.

6. Add plain cake batter and chocolate cake batter alternately in prepared pans; smooth tops. Swirl batter gently with knife to create marbling effect. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 50-70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. I know that this is a very wide time range but my cakes finished at about 54 minutes (likely due to my small pans). To be safe, start to check them as you approach the 50 minute mark. Mine were even a bit dry at the ends so I think I could have taken them out a few minutes earlier and let them carry-over cook for a few minutes instead.

7. Let cake(s) cool in the pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool to room temperature. Store cake, wrapped in waxed paper or plastic wrap up to 1 week.

I foresee more pound cake in my future.


ashley said...

looks soooo good!

Anonymous said...

That marbling is just beautiful!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks delicious! I love the marbling effect!

Anonymous said...

I am definitely going to make this cake! I grew up on "marble cake" but have never thought to make it myself (as a pound cake or otherwise). I do make other cakes that use sour cream (or yogurt) and they are soooo moist. Thanks for posting this and sparking fond memories!


Deborah said...

I love making cakes with sour cream, because they turn out so moist (as exuberantlady pointed out). I've never used yogurt, though - thanks for the idea!

Jade said...

I think yogurt would be a great idea too - next time, I have to make sure not to overbake though!