I have to be honest here and tell you that my first reaction to having pound cake is generally probably “ehhh.” Sure pound cake is wonderful, and sometimes it absolutely hits the spot, and one day I will probably make some seemingly boring general pound cake recipe and post it on this blog and tell you how wonderful it is because it happened to be what I was craving that day. But usually, pound cake is not that show-stopping kind of dessert that I am hoping for. It is mild and general, and while it can be delicious and buttery, it also lacks chocolate.
Which is where this pound cake comes in. I had my family over for dinner this past weekend, and I was looking for something pretty basic to make for dessert, something that could be made ahead and didn’t have to be treated tediously. And I wanted something I already had most of the ingredients to, so a basic cake came to mind. I’ve had a whole slew of pound cake recipes bookmarked for a while now, with ingredients that try to depart ways from one’s standard pound cake. And while I almost made one of those other ones, in the end chocolate won out, as it tends to do.
I think this cake gets just about everything right. The chocolate flavor is perfect from a cup and a half of melted chocolate chips. But it all still feels light enough that it can still be called a pound cake, as in it has more the feel of an everyday type cake. The sour cream and hot water keep the cake moist for days (we’re still eating that last couple of slices). And when you pair it with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate ganache, it hits all the perfect sweet spots of dessert, decadent without being heavy and indulgent without being too extravagant.
Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake
adapted from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living CookbookPrep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Wait Time: 30 minutes
Serves 12-24 (depending on the size of your slices)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour and 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan.
2. In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave, heating for about 1 1/2 minutes and stirring at 30 second intervals, until chocolate is smooth.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until well blended, about 5 or so minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beating until blended.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture in thirds, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed, just until combined.
4. While beating at low speed, gradually pour in hot water. Then add vanilla and continue to beat on low speed just until it is combined and mixture is uniform (be careful not to over beat).
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, in the pan, for 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and allow it to continue to cool completely on wire rack (or at least until it’s cool enough to eat, about 15 more minutes or so). Before cutting, sift powdered sugar over the top of the cake. If desired, serve with ice cream and chocolate ganache.