Pound cake is one of my favourites, simply served as is rather than adding frosting or icing. This recipe produces a buttery cake with a lovely flavour of chocolate.
Most brands of Dutch processed cocoa sold in Europe are quite good and while I personally tend to use Green and Blacks or Hotel Chocolat one of the richest is Valrhona – this product adds more flavour and colour than many others. All brands of chocolate and cocoa differ in both taste and texture and they will affect the flavour – I would suggest you use the brand that pleases your palette.
Some recipes I use require the cocoa to be ‘bloomed’, this is simply to mix the cocoa powder with hot liquid which intensifies the flavour. When making chocolate cakes, try dusting the tin with cocoa powder rather than flour – just pop a spoonful into the tin and tilt to ensure an even coating, then tip out the excess.
30 grams Dutch processed organic cocoa powder
60 ml boiling hot water
175 grams plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 grams golden (unrefined) caster sugar
3 large fresh eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (355ºF, gas mark 4), place an oven shelf on the centre rung (shelf) of the oven.
- Brush a 900 gram loaf tin with melted butter, line the base with baking paper, brush with butter than sift in a spoonful of cocoa, tilt to coat the tin in cocoa, tip out the excess.
- Sift the cocoa into a small bowl, gradually add the hot water while mixing until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Using a stand free or hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs – one by one – beating well after each addition then scrape down the bowl side as and when required, add the vanilla extract and cooled cocoa with the motor running.
- Sift the Flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- With the mixer set to low, add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared tin, smooth out the surface with a palette knife or back of a spoon and bake on the centre shelf for approx. 50 to 55 minutes – a skewer or tooth pick inserted into the centre will come out clean when the cake is ready.
- Transfer tin to a wire rack and allow to cool for approx. 10 minutes before turning out and removing the baking paper.
- Place onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.