SHF#11: Coffee! Mocha Chip Pound Cake
You know what the first thing I ate this morning was? Uh-huh, that's right. A piece of that cake. Yup. Because you know, it's Sugar High Friday again, and Ronald has asked us all to incorporate coffee into our desserts today. Desserts, schmesserts - heck, what's wrong with breakfast?!
And coming up is a promotion of one of my favorite books, Baking by Flavor. It's not like you haven't heard of it before, is it??:-) Lisa Yockelson has a whole chapter in the book titled "Coffee and Mocha", and Martin is not a big fan of coffee in his food (but loves drinking it) - could there be a better excuse to try one of the recipes?? I don't think so!
I like coffee, but don't drink it that often - the occasional latte, or iced latte -or okay, I admit, sometimes when studying, I do need a fix... I need loads of sugar and milk (except for the espresso after a several course meal) though, so the mocha idea appealed to me. Coffee and chocolate, oh yummy! I found a recipe for Mocha Trufle Cookies I'd love to have tried, but honestly, I just couldn't bring myself to use almost a kilo of chocolate for making them - so I settled for the equally delicious sounding Mocha Chip Pound Cake.
And the cake was a hit! It's easy to whip up, and the result is amazing - the coffee is not overpowering, but accents the chocolate very well - you can't really tell if it's chocolate, coffee or the cocoa that shines through, but it doesn't really matter - it's all good!
A nice, slightly dense crumb, dotted with the lightly melted chocolate chips.
I think actually one of the guys at work said it best: "There's only one problem with this cake: I work too slow now - I need to keep one hand on the cake, popping more into my mouth, so I can only use one hand on the keyboard!" I don't mind that I have to use up the rest of the espresso powder I bought, going through some of the recipes in the chapter - but if everything else fails, I wouldn't mind going back to this one either! I made it with only minor, cost-reducing changes, that I've noted below.
Mocha Chip Pound Cake - Baking by Flavor p. 366
The coffee wash:
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup coffee liquor, such as Kahlua (I actually used amaretto, just because I didn't want to splurge on a bottle of Kahlua)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place everything except vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Cover and set over low heat, letting the sugar dissolve. As soon as it's dissolved, raise the heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce until 2/3 cup. Take of the heat and stir in vanilla extract. Leave to cool completely.
Can be made several days in advance.
For the cake:
2 1/2 tsp. instant (not granular) espresso powder
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp hot water
2 3/4 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsifted bleached cake flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened, alkalized cocoa
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate because that's what I had handy)
1/2 pound (16 tablespoons or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, sieved if lumpy
5 large eggs
1 cup thick, cultured sour cream
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Plain 10-inch tube pan, greased with shortening and lined with a circle of waxed paper cut to fit. And dusted with flour.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Combine espresso powder, vanilla extract and water in a small ramekin.
Sift the two type of flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the mixture.
Cream the butter in the large bowl of a freestanding mixer. Add the granulated sugar in three additions, beating well between each addition. Add the light brown sugar and beat thoroughly again. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Blend in the espresso-vanilla extract mixture.
On low speed, add sifted ingredients in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions. Blend in the heavy cream. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick withdraws clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a wirerack and peel of the waxed paper. Brush the cake with the coffee wash and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Keeps for 5 days.
Oh come on! You know you'd lick that spoon too! Even if that was really the first thing you had this morning... and not the cake... Ahem... Thanks to Ronald for giving me an excuse to go down the caffeine road early in the day!