This chocolate cake is really wonderful, but you MUST use good cocoa. The intense flavor from really good cocoa powder just gives this cake such a chocolatey punch. I add some bittersweet chocolate chips just for a little extra choco-goodness, and because I think they add a nice bit of moisture. This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen's, who names this (very aptly) an "everyday chocolate cake", which it really is. One bowl, great for a party or a boring Tuesday.
The one thing I should warn you about is that this is a crumblier, slightly drier cake. It's delicious, but don't expect one of those moisture explosions that comes with some chocolate cakes. This is actually perfect with some fresh whipped cream and a few berries. Or, if you're crazy (in a good way), a touch of thin chocolate ganache. Either way it's a great way to relieve a bit of stress in not too much time. Which is great when you've got a lot of writing to do.
|Left a few pieces of cake for my roomies. Next to them are some (slightly) failed macarons w/ Meyer lemon mascarpone filling.|
Now, this white chocolate almond pound cake, this is something else entirely. Moist, sweet, buttery with a touch of tang and awesome depth of flavor, this is officially my favorite pound cake now. So much so, I made it twice within one week (for two different events, not for me to just eat in my room while watching Friday Night Lights).
The real trick to this cake is the cream cheese that replaces half the butter. It keeps the cake moist and gives it such depth. The white chocolate is really amazing as well. I'm not even a white chocolate fan, but in this form it really, REALLY works. That paired with the almond extract...mmm...maybe I should make this cake one more time....
I use a bit more almond extract than asked for in more recipes (or in this original recipe) but I really think it makes a difference. The best thing to do is to taste the batter after adding a conservative amount of both vanilla and almond extracts, and then adding more bit by bit till it's got a good, strong taste of almond. Don't worry if it's a little intense, remember you still need to add the flour which will dull the flavor a bit.
Ghirardelli has slowly become my go-to for chocolate chips, both white and brown. Their 62% bittersweet version is great for several applications. I even use it for ganache. It's the same chocolate the company uses in their blocks of bittersweet. I think one reason they tend to be better is that it doesn't have that awful, waxy texture so many chocolate chips come with. Plus they're usually the only kind of chip that my fancy pants Williamsburg grocers carry.
So, another reason I'm baking so much is that I'm in training. For the biggest event in NYU's Grad Film Program. That would be...drumroll please...the official 3rd Year Bake-Off!!! At first I didn't feel too much pressure, but after having every one of my classmates pass me in the halls and claim they are going to take me down, now I'm in it to win it. I've got to make something(s) that are pretty spectacular. More details on what I'm planning will come.