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Sunday, January 19, 2014

chocolate chocolate-cheesecake pound cake.

If you can recall, (if you can't just scroll down or look to the archive column or here I'll give you the link) I made a chocolate cheesecake last week. I ate a considerable amount of it and gave most of it away, but I also sneakily saved a small portion of it to be chopped into small chunks, frozen and retrieved at a later date to throw into a batter of sorts. I've always wanted to stir chunks of cheesecake into batters with the same ease as I do with chocolate chips with added smugness.

Coincidentally, I had a chocolate cake recipe on my to-bake list, which seemed to me to be the perfect pairing for my scraps of chocolate cheesecake. For this momentous occasion, I got out my hello kitty cake pan. It occurred to me halfway as I was mixing the batter that the chunks of cheesecake might sink to the bottom of the pan and mar hello kitty's face, so I implemented my chocolate-chocolate-cheesecake cake idea in the form of two additional muffins at the side.

My chocolate cheesecake was coated with a layer of ganache on top and that ganache, as expected, became all oozy and melty in the muffins. And if you've always wanted to try warm cheesecake, then I guess this is your chance! Overall, the chunks of cheesecake made the muffins noticeably moister than the plain cake itself.

This chocolate cake recipe I used is from Bake It Like You Mean It, and is entitled Aztec Creme Fraiche Pound Cake. The author highlighted the cake's fudgy texture in the book, which I have to say that it is indeed the most appealing aspect of the cake. The batter rose pretty high in the oven and collapsed considerably when cooling; it sort of reminded me of a fallen chocolate souffle cake, the way it behaved (hah) as well as the texture - soft, dense, creamy, fudgy. Pretty much the kind of cake you'll forget to stop eating.

What I didn't quite take to about this recipe is its use of too many spices and too much of them. The cinnamon definitely stood out too much and the lemon flavoring (subbed for the lime oil in the recipe because I didn't have any on hand) was so undetectable I shouldn't have bothered in the first place. I already left out the cayenne pepper because I didn't have any. It's an overly complicated cake.

Nevertheless, for the texture alone this recipe is one worth trying. My advice is to leave out all the extras (i.e. the lime oil, cinnamon and cayenne pepper) and I can pretty much guarantee you a hit.

Chocolate Chocolate-Cheesecake Pound Cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup coffee, very hot
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (I used vanilla extract)
1 tsp lime oil
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup creme fraiche (I used sour cream)
chocolate cheesecake, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a large bundt pan.

Combine the chocolate and coffee. Let the mixture stand until the chocolate has melted then stir to combine.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one a time, beating until each addition has been incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and lime oil.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cayenne.

Add the creme fraiche to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Alternatively add the flour mixture in three additions and chocolate mixture in two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the cheesecake chunks.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

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