Friday, February 12, 2016

Chocolate Heart Pound Cake

Discover a soft chocolate heart
inside this deliciously buttery and perfectly dense  pound cake

I simply love this recipe!! What's not to love about a chocolate heart hidden in the middle of a perfectly dense and moist pound cake?

This looks like the same-old, plain pound cake from the outside . But when you take your knife and go for the first slice... Ta daaah! You'll be amazed by the chocolate heart, appearing right under your eyes. Just like by magic! 
This is such a fun and cute idea. Perfect to celebrate your Valentine's Day. You can show your special someone how sweet you can be by surprising her on Sunday morning with a romantic breakfast in bed. 
Imagine.
A  lazy Sunday morning, sleeping in late, and waking up to the enticing smell of coffee and this freshly baked, cupid-inspired pound cake.  To make it fun, you can always drizzle the top with melted chocolate and a splash of whipped cream. Mmm... Sounds perfect, right?! 
Oh. Don't forget a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. She will fell in love with you, all over again :)



I know what you are thinking now. 
How in the world this flawless looking heart made it inside my cake?!? Clearly, it's not a cutout heart, put there after the cake has been baked and cut in slices. And no, I don't posses any mysterious, supernatural power, even though I really wish I did.
I'll show you the trick, but first here are a few tips for you.
Make sure to remove all the cold ingredients (butter, eggs and milk) from the refrigerator, and set them out on your kitchen counter to warm up, for at least one hour before you start with the recipe. Room temperature ingredients mix more easily  into the batter and create a more uniform texture throughout the cake. 
Second, make sure to take your time to cream the butter with the sugar. You need a fluffy, light and airy mixture. This will give you a tender and moist cake. Dense for sure, that's how pound cake is suppose to be. But dense in the yummy way. And when you mix in the dry ingredients, do not over-mix, or you will undo all the work you did with the butter and sugar. 
Now, are you ready to win her heart by showing your sweetheart how much you care, and impress her with your culinary skills?!? You will see from my step-by-step recipe, that you don't need to be an expert baker to pull this off...  You are welcome :)

Ingredients: for a 9 x 5 in (23 x 12.5 cm) pound cake
  • 3 cups** (450 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 8 oz ( 225 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature*
  • 1.5 cups (300 gr) sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature*
  • 6 fl oz (175 ml) of milk, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (25 gr) unsweetened cocoa powder
* An hour before starting with the recipe, remove the ingredients from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature
**I suggest weighting the flour. These are pretty packed cups of flours, weighting 1 lb = 450 gr)

Preparation time: About one hour and a half
Directions:

1. Remove the butter, eggs and milk from the refrigerator, if you haven't done it yet. Leave these ingredients at room temperature for about one hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F (175ยบ C). Grease a 9 x 5 in (23 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan and a 9 in (23 cm) round pan with butter and flour (or spray), or cover with parchment paper. I used a springform round pan, so I used parchment paper for the bottom, and greased just the sides.

3. In a large bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside for later.

4. In another bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. This step is very important and might take several minutes. I used a hand mixer, and I had to stop and remove some of the butter from the beaters. Don't worry if that happens. Just keep on beating until all the butter and sugar create a soft and airy mixture.


5. Add one egg to the mixture and mix some more. Once fully combined, add the remaining three eggs. Beat again, until well blended. Beat in the milk and the vanilla extract.


6. Add the dry ingredients you prepared earlier. Blend them in, and stop when just combined. Do not over mix.
7. Move about two cups of the batter to a new bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined. Pour onto the round pan, and level with a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes. The chocolate cake won't be fully cooked, especially in the middle, but we want to keep it moist and soft. It will go back in the oven.



8. Let the chocolate cake cool off for 5 to 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cut the the cake with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Mine is 2.25 in (6 cm) in length, and I was able to cut 12 hearts. Make sure to get the most amount of hearts out of the cake. So plan carefully!


9. Spoon some of the vanilla batter into the pound cake pan. You want to cover the two longer sides, leaving space in the middle for the chocolate hearts. The vanilla sides are needed to hold up the hearts.

10. Stack three or four hearts at a time, on top of each other, and place in the middle of the pan, as shown in my picture. You should have enough hearts to fill exactly the whole length of the pan.



11. Cover the hearts with the remaining vanilla batter. Spoon it starting from the middle, making sure the hearts are covered. The sides will fill up when the cake cooks in the oven.


12. Bake for about 50 minutes in the middle of the oven, until golden on top and fully cooked. Test with a toothpick for readiness. Make sure to check the cake on top of the hearts. That seems to be the spot the cake has a harder time to fully cook. For this reason, I moved my pan a little higher in the oven (second rack from the top) for the last 15 minutes. I could see from the edges that the sides were nicely cooked, but the top (over the chocolate part) was a little behind.

Let the pound cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan, and place on  cooling rack. 
Now you are ready for the fun part... Slice and see the magic chocolate heart appear!! 
Enjoy :)





















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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! Have a great weekend :)

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  3. This is Awesome! Thank you so much for having this website!

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  4. Love your recipes, what a great idea for Valentine's Day. Could do other shapes for different occasions, bunnies, shamrock's, what fun.

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    Replies
    1. Yes!!! Thank you Suzy. Have an amazing weekend :)

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  5. This looks absolutely beautiful & delicious..Great way to start a week.!!
    Thanks for sharing Manuela!!

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  6. Today is National Pound Cake Day, and the perfect day to share the "love" with this cake!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jessie!!! I didn't know it was today... Why am I the last one to know about these things all the time?!? Now I should bake another one today :)

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  7. That's what I thought. I didn't see baking powder or anything included so I was thrown off a bit. Thanks
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