Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake

I came up with this idea when putting in some time on the treadmill the other week. Because, ya know, all I can think about while I’m making sure to get my 10,000 steps is what I’m going to eat next. Once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Anyway, I’ve never made pound cake before and needed a base, so I broke out the ol’ Google machine and went with the recipe I found on the Joy of Baking. I have to to say, the woman behind that site certainly knows what she’s doing. The cake is light, easy to make, and, most importantly, incredibly tasty.

The dried cherries were certainly a nice addition (as the combination of fruit and chocolate always tends be a great match), but I’d probably go with a compote next time. They got a little lost in the chocolate and I think this might distribute their flavor a little more evenly while upping the intensity. Nonetheless, can’t say I’m unhappy with how this turned out. And the folks at work—where much of what I make ends up—didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened  cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup hot (preferably boiling) water
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

IMG_3811DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add the cocoa powder to boiling water and mix until smooth. Set aside and allow to completely cool.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add cherries and mix until evenly distributed throughout flour mixture. Set aside.
  4. In separate bowl using a hand mixer on medium—no need to break out the Kitchenaid for this recipe—beat the butter until completely smooth (about 1 minute).
  5. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes).
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until completely combined.
  7. Add the cocoa mixture and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Scrap the sides of the bowl.
  8. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  9. Divide the batter between two prepared bans and cook on the middle rack for about 50 – 55 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. They’ll be really delicate until completely cool, so treat them with kid gloves.
  11. Slice and give your mom the ends because she likes ’em and you love your momma. Serve with some fresh whipped cream and berries if you’re really trying cement your place in the will.

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