Saturday, February 7, 2004

Chocolate Pound Cake

When I was in my late teens, my mother gave my sister and I each a copy of a Hershey's Chocolate cook book. This recipe was in that book, though I've modified it a bit. It's one of the easiest cakes you could possibly make. You do need a good size mixing bowl, but other than that, it's very straight forward, and exceedingly unhealthy. It freezes very very well, and since it makes a larg bundt cake, you might want to freeze half.

I often add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits to the batter, just before pouring it into the Bundt pan. Alternatively, you may want to try soaking 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cherries (in warm water, or, my personal favorite, Grand Marnier, or Kirsch), pouring off the excess liquid (saving the liquor for the cook) before you stir the cherries gently into the batter.


1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla in a very large bowl for about five minutes, using a mixer at medium speed. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing them in thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Add this mixture, a little at a time, alternately with the coffee and buttermilk (or sour milk) to the creamed mixture, beating just until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottoms of the bowl.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 12 cup Bundt pan or ten inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees F. for about an hour and twenty minutes, or until a tester or knife blade inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely; sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if you'd like.

Notes: You can sour milk by adding a Tablespoon of vinegar to the milk, and subtracting an equivalent amount of milk.

The cooking time can vary quite a bit, depending on altitude and weather. Test for doneness with a knife inserted gently into the center; it should be moist, but not gooey.