03 April 2015

Chocolate Pound Cake

As you know, from my post about my Southern sojourn, I returned with Cruze Buttermilk. I had one thing on my mind -- pound cake. The very first thing I remember being cooked for me in the old wood cheese box was chocolate poundcake.

Six years ago, the New York Times published Cheri Cruze's recipe for Buttermilk Poundcake.  My friend, Anne, used her baking box to make one.

One rainy afternoon, I found my mother's old recipe box and rooted around until I came across my old recipe. It was on a piece of crumbling paper, written in my big, loopy juvenile hand. One the back was the recipe for 7 Minute Frosting, the usual frosting my great aunts used on this cake.  It had been violently scratched out and replaced with a 4 Minute Chocolate Frosting.
I started out, convinced that I had everything I needed, until I reached for the sugar jar and found it empty.  I am not a big cookie maker.  All the cookies I make and therefore eat revolve around the chocolate chip/chunk/peanut butter combination.  Since most of those recipes call for a combination of white and brown sugar, I keep a jar of premixed sugar.  That saved the cake.

When I got ready for the ganache (in lieu of 4 Minute Chocolate Frosting) I realized there was no sweet milk. There was a can of evaporated milk leftover from Thanksgiving pie making.  I was a bit skimpy on the ganache.  I really like it to be a thick covering of chocolate and this batch was a little slim.

This recipe has a scant 1/2 cup of cocoa, so the cake is not overtly chocolate. Which is why I like a thick gaunach on the top!  But it is quite good. Pound cake, like fruit cake needs to be cooked low and slow. The nice thing about pound cake is that it will keep for quite some time if you store it in an air-tight cake tin. Here is the recipe.  Be sure to check you larder BEFORE you crack all the eggs to make sure you have everything you need.

While I cooked this in my Wood Cake Box, the low oven is recommend even if you use a a Bundt pan or angle food cake pan.  In a pan with a center hole, the cooking time will be about an hour and a half.  In the cake box, it can take fifteen to twenty minutes longer.

Chocolate Pound Cake

3 cups AP flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until bright yellow, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating till incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla.  Alternate the buttermilk and the dry ingredients in three batches, ending with the flour.

Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes.   You want the cake to puff up and the top to crack just a bit.  A toothpick inserted in the cake should come out clean.

I think it needed another 1/4 inch of ganache!  But it was exactly as I remember it -- sans billowy white meringue icing.


  1. I may need to try this after all 😊

  2. Thanks for the info on the buttermilk. I have never heard of them so I googled Cruze Farms. Found the NYT article with the corn bread recipe. And the pound cake recipe sounds delicious. And I would love to try it in some buttermilk biscuits, but I probably can't get it in Seattle... :\
    I feel like I gained five pounds looking at the recipes. Damn!


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