Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Dark Chocolate Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Servings: 12-16
This pound cake is awesome; dense, moist and oh so chocolatey. Serve each slice with fresh strawberries and Brown Sugar Sour Cream (see recipe below).

Pound Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 1/4 sticks (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/9 oz/255g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon chocolate extract (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs

3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Sour Cream (see recipe below)
Fresh Strawberries

Do NOT preheat oven. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan, knocking out any excess flour.

Pound Cake:
Into a small bowl sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt. In another small bowl stir together baking soda and sour cream. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (preferably a standing electric mixer) beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Beat in extracts and add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately in batches, beating until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and put in middle of cold oven. Set oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake cake 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes and turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Glaze and Garnish:
Chop bittersweet chocolate and in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Transfer glaze to a pastry bag fitted with a #3 plain tip (slightly smaller than 1/8 inch). (Alternatively, transfer glaze to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag and press out excess air. Snip off 1 corner, making a small hole.) Pipe glaze back and forth over top of cake, letting it drip down sides. Let glaze set 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve cake with dollops of Brown Sugar Sour Cream (recipe follows) and fresh strawberries.

Makes 12-16 servings.

Brown Sugar Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl stir together all ingredients until smooth. Sour cream keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

Makes about 1 2/3 cups.

Pound cake keeps (without glaze), wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature 1 week. Alternatively, pound cake may be frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil, 3 months.

Date: July 23, 2004