Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20: Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

I love the idea of dessert so much more than I love the actual dessert course. Isn't that sad? But, like I've mentioned before, I've lost my sweet tooth, and usually I'm happy if I can get a main dish and a couple of sides on the table.

But this blog is not so much about what I actually want to cook--it's more about what's fun to think about eating. Dessert falls into that category for me, that deep dark fantasy that I don't want to commit to, really, but that is pure heaven to think about. Somewhere between reality and fantasy is where this blog usually lands, I think--for example, I would never blog about what I am actually having for dinner tonight, which is turkey sloppy joes and salad. Sure, it's the reality of what a foodie is having for dinner on a Tuesday, but exciting reading it isn't. That's why I go out looking for recipes like Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake.

I don't bake a lot, but I love to make pound cake. It's forgiving and delicious and easy to manage, goes with a multitude of accessories, and doesn't need to be frosted or decorated. A slice of poundcake, a scoop of really great ice cream, a handful of raspberries--that's my idea of dessert.

This recipe, incidentally, is from Cooking.com. Besides having the greatest selection of cooking gadgets, pans, pots, and small appliances for sale, they have a really wonderful collection of recipes. Yesterday's recipe, the honey-bourbon barbecue chicken, is from cooking.com too. A lot of my recipes, ones that don't come from my own library, are from America's Test Kitchen. One I've meant to use more is Martha Stewart Living. I occasionally use a recipe from Food Network as well. There are a few other food blogs I read, most notably The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet, Homesick Texan, Pioneer Woman Cooks!, and Sunday Nite Dinner, and I occasionally borrow a recipe from one of those (and anyone who hasn't tasted Pioneer Woman's Mystery Rolls is missing out.) Anybody have any recommendations of other great food websites?

Anyway. Pound cake. Here we go.

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Poundcake

For Cake:
2 1/4 cups self-rising cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate cut into 1/4 inch pieces

For Glaze:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

FOR CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper; butter the paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking soda.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with 1 1/2 cups of the sugar at medium speed until blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. On low speed, alternately beat in the sour cream and the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Add the chocolate pieces and beat just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then unmold and let cool right side up.

FOR GLAZE: In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup of sugar with the water and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Brush a thin layer of the glaze over the cake and let set. Brush the cake with the glaze 2 more times, allowing it to dry between glazings.

Cut the cake into 3/4-inch-thick slices and serve with whipped cream.

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