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What's Dinner Without Dessert?

>> Sunday, October 28, 2007

If you've been around my blog for any time at all you know a couple of things:
1) I really enjoy baking
2) I usually do all the cakes for family birthdays

It's not that my cakes are better than anyone else's. I just have the time and I really do enjoy trying new recipes.

Next weekend is a combined celebration for my birthday and my BIL's birthday. When he was here for Brenna's birthday yesterday I asked what kind of cake he would like.

Thinking back to the beginning of the year he asked for the Chocolate Pound Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream that I made in April.

The last time I made one of these I had to use a regular hand-held mixer. And it SUCKED! Oh, it worked, but I really needed an extra set of hands. A Hamilton Beach® Mixer would have come in soooo handy. Instead I had to use Doug. Which was almost as difficult as doing it myself.
Don't get me wrong, it was worth it...

This cake is SO GOOD! It's rich and fudgey and the buttercreme melts in your mouth. Chocolate bliss!

Chocolate Pound Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake; total time 1 1/2 hours

Cream together:
3 cups extra fine granulate sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Add One At A Time:
4 eggs
3 egg yolks

Whisk together:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 c. Dutch process cocoa powder
2T turbinado sugar
1t potato starch (I used corn starch & it worked just fine)
3/4 t table salt
1/4 t baking soda

Combine; add to butter with dry ingredients:
3/4 c whole milk (I used 2%)
1/2 c sour cream
2T brandy, optional (I didn't use it)
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center

Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment on low for 5 minutes.

Add eggs and yolks one at a time, letting each fully incorporate before adding the next

Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl

Combine the wet ingredients. With mixer still on low alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Scrape the sides of the bowl to the bottom, then mix on medium speed for 20 seconds to develop the batter's structure. (It's gonna be thick.)

Coat the pan with non-stick flour spray, fill to 3/4 full and bake 55-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out nearly clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then invert onto a flat surface and cool to room temperature.

Can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for one day or frozen for a month.

Italian Meringue Buttercream

1 c extra fine granulated sugar
1/4 c water

Whip; Add:
5 egg whites
1/4 c extra fine sugar

Slowly pour syrup into meringue; Beat in:
4 sticks unsalted butter, cut to tablespoon pieces, at room temperature

Mix in:
1/2 c melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate and 1 t vanilla

Boil sugar and water over medium heat until it reaches 245 degrees (I don't have a candy thermometer so I just watched it very closely and when it started to boil I took it off the burner). As it cooks begin meringue so it will be ready)

Whip whites with a wire whisk in a stand mixer on high until they reach stiff peaks, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/4 c sugar; beat to incorporate.

Slowly pour hot sugar mixture into meringue in a steady stream with mixer on high. Pour between bowl and whisk.

Continue to beat the frosting for 10-12 minutes until the outside of the bowl has reached room temperature and the frosting is thick and glossy white.

Beat in butter by tablespoons; should take 2 minutes. Don't worry if the butter is cooler than the batter and causes separation, just continue to beat and it will come together.

Mix in 1/2 c melted chocolate (I used the dipping chocolate that you can find in the store now. Melts easy and doesn't harden as it cools)

To Build:

Split the cake in half horizontally with a long serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion. Cut into the center and continue around the cake. Swirl frosting beyond the edges so it spills out, set top layer and swirl with more frosting.

Chocolate Curls:

Use a solid milk chocolate bar. Using a vegetable peeler, run it down a narrow edge from about mid-bar. Use a toothpick or skewer to pick up curls and place on cake. They are fragile and will melt in your hand.

After looking at that recipe can you blame me for wanting a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer? In the instructions it says to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. And with so many steps going on all at once it is so easy to start the mixer and work on another part of the recipe. The mixer is all metal so it won't vibrate itself off the counter, it's got the tilt up head to easily add ingredients and a pouring shield to keep the flour from going "poof" all over. And it's powerful enough to not get bogged down by the thickness of this recipe.

And, being a fashionable wanna-be chef, you gotta know I am absolutely in love with the Eclectrics® Mixer in "apple". Although I could be forced to "make due" with the "sterling"- since it matches the kitchen. For now.


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