13 March 2009

Loaf of Darkness

When you get a package in the mail from your sister like this:

And inside, all you find is a note commanding you to bake with and blog about a bag full of this:

Then you do. (My sister is a not a force to be taken lightly.)

So you make this:

And have a slice with some delicate China white tea, to offset the cocoa rush.

And you realize maybe she really is older and wiser.

I'd never heard of black cocoa powder before, but it turns out it's a variety that's been super alkalized, or ultra dutched (both of which sound like something you'd overhear frat boys bragging about on a Monday morning). Any type of Dutch cocoa powder gives a smoother, milder taste than natural cocoa powder, and it really shines in a simple dessert like chocolate pound cake.

This one is adapted from Laura Brody's Chocolate American Style, and trust me, you will swoon over the first bite. You'll find yourself coming up with all sorts of excuses to have just one more slice- like it being your mother's 60th birthday, for instance.

Black Chocolate Pound Cake
Makes: 10 to 12 servings.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350°. Coat the interior of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter, then dust bottom and sides with flour, knocking out excess.

2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down the sides of the bowl as you mix. Beat in half the flour mixture, then sour cream and vanilla. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until just combined.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until cake has risen and begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out of pan onto rack, and let cool completely before slicing, dusting with confectioners' sugar if desired.

But it really is! Happy birthday, Mom. I'm trying hard to save you a piece, but I learned it (how to inhale chocolate, that is) from watching you.


Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Very cool recipe! I love how intense the color is. What a nice sister you have. :)

anna said...

Wow, I can't believe the color of that cocoa! Gorgeous!

finsmom said...

What a sinful looking pound cake! Definitly drool-worthy! Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

Sara said...

This looks unbelievable. I love how dark it is.

christine said...

Guess what I'm making next week? That looks so unbelievable I'm having trouble believing it.

oneordinaryday said...

Looks absolutely amazing.
I think in my family, I'm "that sister." Your post made me laugh.
Great job on the pound cake!

Anonymous said...

Happy 2 b 60 & not part of a generation that " gets" 2 expect 2 live 2 120.

Camille said...

I would have gladly followed the note's directions to bake and blog. WOW!! That is dark and rich and yummy and I'm going to go get a piece of chocolate now....

melanie said...

I haven't baked for awhile...
This week I'm releasing the inner baker in me! lol
I will try this one :) Thanks for sharing!

melanie said...

I made this one and it was a success! yum yum :) again, thanks!