A friend of mine totally called me out this week for blog slacking... apologies! Busy at work + traveling + fall allergy season kicking in = less posting and more sniffling and stressing. Somehow in the past week it's turned into fall up here in the Big Apple. Suddenly there's that very real chill in the air that reminds you of leaves falling in Central Park, trench coats drawn up tight and cold mornings with big duvets in tiny apartments. It might be the best time in the city (other than spring and summer... and maybe that wintery stroll down the Poet's Walk in the Park). But there's nothing that makes me feel more like a New Yorker than being snuggled in a coat with the NY Times and a coffee on a park bench Saturday morning.
FINALLY it's the weekend and it was past time for me to bake a sweet treat for a friend of mine who is going through a rough time. She was the victim of a violent crime a couple weeks ago (don't worry, nothing Law & Order SVU-worthy but still God-awful) and while she's healing slowly, the whole ordeal served as a great reminder that we've all gotta be careful in this big city that we love.
So I hemmed and hawed over what to make for her (she hates nuts) and came up with something that should be pretty comforting. You can't get much more solid than pound cake, so I'm hoping this recipe is a winner. I saw it in Bon Appetit last year and have been waiting for a reason to make it, and to make a friend smile seemed like the best reason I could think of.
This cake is light and dense at the same time with a chocolate flavor that's anything but too much. It springs and bounces off of fingertips and is yummmmmmy! (I mean, I had to TRY it to make sure I was giving her something special!) Give it a try the next time your chocolate craving demands something a little more creative than brownies.
Deep Chocolate Pound Cake
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream (I used non-fat)
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)
Position rack in center of oven, preheat to 350 F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk sour cream and milk in a small bowl. Sift cocoa powder into another small bowl. Whisk in honey and 2 tbsp. boiling water until smooth. Cool completely.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in another medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla. Add cocoa mixture; stir until smooth, occasionally scraping down bowl. Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture in 2 additions each until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips. (I just sprinkled mine on top, instead of incorporating into batter - but next time I'd add to the batter for a richer slice)
Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 8 minutes (it took me 1 hour 15 minutes). Remove cake from pan and cool.