Yes, you heard right – the world’s BEST chocolate pound cake is here people, only this time, it’s been pimped!
Now, firstly I must be honest, this didn’t work out exactly how I thought it would – I now know that if a recipe says to use a certain width parchment paper to drizzle melted chocolate on and pop in the fridge then one should use the correct size and not “makeshift” it up with two pieces of reusable baking parchment clipped together or you will end up with a wobbly lopsided cake! Did you know that already? Why didn’t you tell me then?! Ok, I forgive you – let me take you back to the beginning… …You see, it’s been an eventful week – I just passed my medical school finals against all the odds due to my poor dad being taken into hospital 6 weeks ago seriously ill. He’s still very ill but he’s still here and that’s all I need right now. Second, this is my first ever blog post on my very own, brand spanking new blog! So I knew I had to celebrate and I also knew I had to do it with a fabulous cake in an extra fabulous way. And of course, I had to reach out to my friend Sam (aka The Muffin Mistress and fantastic recipe finder extraordinaire!) for the raw material – Marlene Matar’s Best Ever Chocolate Pound Cake. If you have a similar happy occasion to celebrate (like, it’s Tuesday and you need something to get you through the week!) then this is what you’ll need:
I also had a quick trip to Costco this weekend and whilst browsing the cake books I came across a cake decorated *just* (in the loose and fast sense of the word) as I’ve done here and I just knew I had to give it a go. So recipe – check; decoration – check. How to make it EXTRA special? Make it chocolate MINT flavoured, through and through! Oh yeah baby – this is like an After Eight Mint in cake form droooool! Now, as I just can’t help myself when it comes to recipe fiddling, I made a couple of changes to with Sam’s version of the recipe – I used less butter, Greek instead of natural yogurt and changed the sugars for half soft brown and half dark brown muscavado sugar along with some peppermint extract in this case.
Now, just a word about why this is the best ever cake of it’s kind – it’s deep, it’s dark, it’s delicious. It uses an almost illegal amount of cocoa to achieve this. Oh, and espresso powder. It brings out the chocolate in a rather spectacular way. It’s crumb is super soft and tender from all that rich tangy yogurt and it only improves as the cake ages – I once had it a week and it was better ever day I had it. I would recommend waiting at least a day before carving out a slab, if you can bare it. The addition of the brown sugars also give it the depth and dampness of a homemade gingerbread. Normally, this is a “plain” cake i.e. without frosting or other adornment but I’m here for indulgent over the top madness, so… …I filled and frosted it with my other good friend Cucina’s Extremely Naughty Fudge Frosting (which will so be making future appearances, watch this space!). Then once the cake was suitably covered in fudge (drool!) I got out the aforementioned reusable baking parchment and drizzle-drizzle-drizzled equal quantities of melted dark choc and white choc with added mint extract in a zig zag manner then left for 5 HOURS (it’s totally roasting here today) to set – it was too long to fit in my dinky fridge lol!
Let me just take a moment here to introduce you to someone very special in my life before I finally finish this post. This is Broo the Baker monkey and he’s my little buddy, especially when I’m baking cakes.
And that is really it – I rolled the just soft, striped chocolate collar around the frosted cake which was topped with chocolate buttons and left it in the fridge for an hour to set. There you have it folks, the very first bake of my brand new blog. They say nothing succeeds like excess… 😉
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300g soft butter
- 1¼ cups dark brown sugar
- 1¼ cups soft light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp espresso powder dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 5 large eggs
- 1¼ cups greek yogurt
- Cream the butter and sugars for about 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and it has become super Iight and much paler in colour.
- Sift your flour, cocoa, raising agents and salt together twice – believe me, this does make a HUGE difference to the lightness of the cake.
- Now stop the mixer and crack in one egg with a third of the flour mix – beat in gently stopping before all the flour has been incorporated.
- Repeat with two eggs and a second third of the flour.
- Then finally add the last two eggs and the flour.
- Lightly whisk the yogurt and vanilla to slacken the yogurt and gently mix this into the batter as the last flecks of flour from the final addition become incorporated.
- Now pour your batter gently into greased and/or lined tins (obviously you can’t line a Bundt pan so just rub with butter or spray with oil and dust liberally with extra cocoa first).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C until well risen and springs back to the touch – about 1 hour for a Bundt and about 25 minutes for a batch of cupcakes.
- Note – this makes one very large bundt (12 cup capacity), two deep 8 inch round cakes (don’t use sandwich tins), 24 good sized cupcakes or three loaf cakes so far in my experience! If you use a different tin, leave a comment to leave me know how you get on.