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Chocolate Truffle Pound Cake

Servings: 16
This is the ultimate chocolate pound cake, the one rich enough and elegant enough to please all chocolate lovers and to serve at the most special occasions.

Pound Cake Batter:
1 cup (8 oz/2 sticks/226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups light brown sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-pupose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract or flavoring

Chocolate Truffle Icing:
3 oz. (3/4 stick/6 tbsp/85g) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
5-6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract or flavoring
Cocoa, for dusting top of pound cake
1/2 cup chopped or sliced toasted almonds

Pound Cake Batter:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube or bundt pan.With an electric mixer, cream the butter until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar gradually until well combined. Continue to beat for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter, mix well, and then add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Add the next 1/3 flour, the remaining buttermilk, and finally the last 1/3 flour. Beat about 1 minute to mix well. Gently fold in by hand the melted chocolate, the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake in preheated 325 degree F (160 C) oven for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. (Be careful not to overbake, checking the cake after 70 minutes).

Let the cake rest in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack, and cool completely before icing. Ice the cake, and place on serving plate.

For the Chocolate Truffle Icing:
Combine all ingredients well until light and fluffy, adding additional buttermilk if necessary to make the icing spreadable. Ice the cooled pound cake. Dust the top with cocoa (shaking through a strainer or sifter), and sprinkle chopped or sliced almonds on top. If desired, serve with a dollap of whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Makes 16 servings.

Source: The Pound Cake Cookbook, by Bibb Jordan
Date: May 27, 2002