- 4 of LunaCafe's annual Love Rules! All Chocolate! All Month! celebration. Each post in February will feature a very special chocolate recipe, perfect for sharing with those special people in your life. Click the link above for photos and pointers to all past chocolate posts. And don't miss the post titled, The Wonderful World of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder , which details
17 fabulous cocoas, including my picks for top honors. Now back to the celebration!
I have been dreaming of creating a chocolate and almond paste pound cake for some time now and have finally done it. The impetus was Valentine's Day of course but maybe even more this gorgeous, nonstick Nordic Ware quilted heart cake pan
I ran into it online and ordered it on the spot. A couple of days later and there it was, sturdy and gleaming on the kitchen counter. I took a close look at the intricate design and began to have trepidation about whether the cake would release cleanly from the pan, with all of the design intact. The directions that come with the pan indicate to brush the interior with soft butter or shortening before adding the cake batter. I almost floured the surface as well but then thought better of it. After all, the surface is nonstick. The cake released perfectly, every bit of the design preserved.
10- to 12-cup bundt pan, and although this Nordic Ware pan says it has a 10-cup capacity, it most decidedly DOES NOT. It has a capacity of
7 cups tops, and I recommend that you do not fill it any fuller than
So, because of the capacity issue, I was prepared to test this recipe a couple of times to get the proportions just right for the pan size, but the first test was perfection.
The cake has a moist, tender, dense, and almost chewy texture, with a full chocolate flavor balanced by an equally assertive almond flavor. It is one of those cakes that actually seems to improve in texture the second day after it is baked. And in fact, the cake was still moist when we finished it off on the third day. Do of course wrap it closely with a couple layers of plastic wrap and maybe even foil to boot.
Although this cake is an appropriate choice to conclude a special meal, it is also great as a snack pulled from your backpack after a long hike. Its sturdy texture ensures that you can eat it out of hand with only a few stray crumbs. So, if you are on lunchbox duty and want to impress someone special on Valentine's Day, this is your cake.
Chocolate Almond Pound Cake
This cake has an enchanting texture, partly because of the chewy effect lent by the almond paste. It is excellent served plain, dusted with only a little powdered sugar, and sublime served with creme anglaise (custard sauce) and dark caramel sauce, both drizzled on the plate. It can also be coated with chocolate glaze for an elegant finish.
unsalted butter, room temperature, to brush pan
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
1/2 cup unsweetened, natural process cocoa (not alkalized) (1 1/8 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 ounces almond paste (half a 7-ounce tube)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cool room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
2 teaspoons instant espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
Copyright Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.
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Tags: almond paste , almonds , cake , Chocolate , Desserts , Love Rules! , pound cake , Valentine's Day
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31 pm and is filed under Chocolate , Recipes .
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Sunday, February 13, 2011 By Susan S. Bradley
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