|Total Time||2½ hours|
Pound cake often lives down to its name, turning out dry and leaden. But the recipe James Villas developed for Saveur magazine a couple of years ago is dense without being heavy, moist without being clumpy, and rich without feeling overly decadent.
This is his recipe, slightly tweaked for flavorings, and transformed into a luxurious chocolate cake. The trick of “blooming” the cocoa powder in hot milk comes from baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum.
|½ to 1||Tbsp. butter, for greasing the pan|
|½ to 1||Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting the pan|
|3||cups unbleached all-purpose flour|
|1||tsp. baking powder|
|½||tsp. kosher salt|
|2||Tbsp. instant espresso coffee powder|
|1||cup unsweetened cocoa powder (either natural or Dutched is fine)|
|3||tsp. vanilla extract|
|6||oz. (about 3 squares from a 9.7-ounce Scharffen Berger bar) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao)|
|12||oz. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|6||large eggs, at room temperature|
|4||oz. (about 2 squares from a 9.7-ounce Scharffen Berger bar) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao)|
|½||cup heavy cream|
Variations: For a more traditional plain pound cake, leave out the melted chocolate and use 1 teaspoon each of rum, vanilla, and lemon extract; coat the pan with flour instead of cocoa powder.
Rose Levy Berenbaum’s trademark cake is a lemon pound cake, but you can lemonize this one by using 3 tsp. lemon extract in place of the rum and vanilla and adding the grated and minced zest of 2 lemons. Use the juice of the lemons, cooked with about 1/3 cup sugar, to make a lemon syrup; poke the warm cake lightly all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over it.
For a boozy cake (and to extend the cake’s shelf life), make a syrup of 2/3 to 3/4 cup rum, brandy, or other liquor heated gently with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water; poke holes halfway through the warm cake, about 1/2 inch apart, and pour the syrup over the cake. Cool for 30 minutes before unmolding.
Finally, Saveur also published a caramel version of Villas’ original pound cake, featuring brown sugar.
This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.
The exuberant Israeli chef
Try quinoa, amaranth, millet, and sorghum
Velvety, earthy, and confident
How to live like Julia Child