Switching gears to Chocolate Cake

Okay, I suppose all of my writings for the last couple of posts, which keep making reference to the eating chocolate for breakfast and the memory of those” to die for” chocolates at Sprunglis, forced me (yes forced me) to make something chocolate yesterday. Therefore we must put aside the art, the history, the spirituality, the heavy thoughtful posts all for today and concentrate on chocolate.
(and no, I am not advocating eating Chocolate for breakfast, however on those rare occasions, it can be oh so decadent and memorable).

Being pressed for time, I couldn’t delve into something too complicated—I needed something with a little instant gratification. It was already 4 PM, almost time to concentrate on the “remains of the day”…say, like, supper and of course Teatime (that’s for another post– the importance of Teatime)… I needed something that was a “go to” success of chocolately goodness.

A chocolate pound cake –a safe, almost guarantee for success. Yes, I agree, a little boring and perhaps too safe, but enough to satiate a quick chocolate need fix. I’m not a big fan of cake, but I knew my husband would be really happy—and what’s better…chocolate AND a happy husband :), can’t get better than that!!

I found a recipe I liked, did a little “cookie” tweaking, and boy was I pleasantly surprised–WOW! This is not your typical pound cake; in fact, I wouldn’t even call this a pound cake. It’s so light, and yet fudgey tasting. The taste is richly chocolate and the texture, or crumb if you will, melted in my mouth.
Below is the original roll call of ingredients and procedure. I’ll recap my tweaks at the end.
Follow the tweaks

Chocolate Pound Cake
1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in ¼ cup hot water
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes our clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Cookie Tweaks—follow!!

–I used cake flour rather than the all purpose flour called for

–my butter was still cold so I zapped it for 30 seconds in the microwave, watch that because you do not want the butter to melt, just get soft—if it melts it can change the whole end product. Careful whenever putting butter in a microwave–it can ruin a recipe, your microwave and it’s velvety goodness. I used a cup of unsalted Plugra and half a cup of salted Plugra, cutting back on the salt to just a shake.
(Yes I know it’s on my Lenten list—I don’t use it directly but I do include it in recipes)

***–I used Hershey’s Special dark cocoa. I think this really helped to add that extra chocolate punch—if you can find it, I highly recommend it.

***–I used Espresso powder rather than regular instant coffee. This also provided a great extra kick

I put the flour in a bowl. I did not sift it. I added the cocoa, baking powder, and a shake of Real Salt sea salt fine crystals, then whisked to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, I added the sugar to the butter and used my hand held mixer verses the behemoth Kitchen Aid monster. I mixed the butter and sugar on a med- high speed for about 3 to 4 minutes then added the eggs, one at a time. I do not measure the vanilla, just splash in what looks to be the required amount—the real deal now, none of that fake crap. Next, I lowered the mixer speed to medium and added some of the dry mixture. Then added the espresso powder that was dissolved in the ¼ cup of warm water. Then I added more of the dry, half of the buttermilk, more dry, the rest of the buttermilk and then the rest of the dry mix. Turn off the mixer, get a spatula, scrape the sides, incorporating anything on the sides not mixed in–then pour it into the bundt pan that you previously sprayed with Bakers Joy!!

I cooked mine in my preheated convection oven at 325˚ for the suggested 70 minutes. I checked it at the 70 minute mark, determined it needed about 10 more minutes. I pulled it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes and turned it out on a wire rack. Once it cooled down slightly I dusted it with powdered sugar. To die for!!! Best when warm as it captures that fudgey goodness–you may serve by itself or add some ice cream (isn’t everything better with ice cream?!) or whipped cream (ditto on everything being better with whipped cream—ahhhh cream–I digress 🙂 ).
My husband ate two pieces 🙂 I hope it works for you as well as it did for me.
If you gave up chocolate for Lent, put this on the to do list for later.


Seeking a Safe Harbor


How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God; Whom made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever. Psalm 146:5-6
This picture was taken while visiting Ucluelet, Vancouver Island. Ucluelet means “people of the safe harbor”.
May we remember today, and everyday, that we are God’s adopted children, bound by the the blood of the Lamb, his only son, Jesus Christ– therefore we have found our safe harbor in God’s unending love, grace and mercy.
(photograph: Julie Cook — Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada 6/2011)