Thursday, March 13, 2014

chocolate-coconut pound cake

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Though the lack of posts suggests otherwise, I have actually been making quite a few things that are blog-worthy. I have a back-log of "bloggable" recipes that probably extends to August, so when I eventually get around to posting about wonderful summery things like quinoa salad with nectarines and feta, it should not come as a surprise.  

In addition to multiple batches of both this olive oil and apricot granola and Megan Gordon's divine hazelnut-cacao nib variation, there has been oven-roasted salmon with cauliflower.  Lemon-rosemary scones.  Multiple batches of my dear, dear sister-in-law's banana curry.  Deep dish apple pie.  Steak cobbler with gruyere biscuits.  And not one, but three loaves of grapefruit olive oil cake.  Clearly, I have been depriving everyone of much deliciousness.

Instead of sharing one of the myriad of successes coming out of my humble kitchen, however, I'm going to tell you about a cake.  Spontaneous cooking or baking is not something that I do often.  I tend to need lots of planning time.  It's not unusual for me to reject a dish out of hand if I don't have every last ingredient at the ready.  Pretty much the only things I make that are totally spur of the moment are scrambled eggs and bowls of cereal.  And clearly that last one doesn't count.

However, when I saw a recipe for a buttermilk-based coconut and chocolate pound cake in my latest Bon Appetit, I decided that I needed it right then.  As it happened, I had a fresh carton of buttermilk in the fridge-I've been trying to keep it stocked so that I can make waffles and pancakes on the weekend-and as I continue to be totally captivated with any recipe that features coconut flakes, I have a surplus of them in my pantry.

Totally going against my normal routine, I decided to whip up the cake while A and I were eating our lunch.  I am forever getting up getting him things anyway, so it seemed like a decent use of my time.  It came together quickly, and I had a wonderful treat to look forward to as an afternoon snack.  I emerged into the kitchen after our nap time routine to the heavenly scent of deep, dark chocolate and slowly roasting coconut.

The final product was just as wonderful as it looks.  Not too sweet, with a subtle, pleasing hint of coconut from the coconut oil and the perfect, slightly bitter taste of dark chocolate.  It was very sturdy, and kept well for a week four days.  I can't wait to make it again. 

Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake, adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2014

1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Butter an 8 x 4 loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides.  
2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.  
3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 cups sugar until pale and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume, 5-8 minutes.  Add vanilla. 
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (do not over mix; it will cause cake to buckle and split).  Scrape batter into prepared pan and run a spatula through the center, creating a canal.  Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.  
5. Bake cake, tenting with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done (it should be very dark and toasted), until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70-80 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cook in pan 20 minutes before turning out. 

No comments: