A Hybrid Pound Cake

I came across two pound cake recipes this week in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts – a java cake and a chocolate one. After flipping between them for fifteen minutes, I realized I could have both cakes, and eat them too: I could make a mocha pound cake with both coffee and cocoa.

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Maida Heatter’s recipes are nothing if not solid, so I felt pretty confident going out on this limb. I used the java cake recipe to start, and I increased the amount of milk in the recipe to balace out the extra dry ingredient – cocoa. I think this cake would benefit greatly from some icing (maybe a simple chocolate buttercream), but I’m wrapping mine up to take to work so icing was not possible. It’s quite delicious on its own, though; the coffee adds depth and excitement to the chocolate flavor.

Mocha-Java Pound Cake

2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. instant coffee
2/3 c. cocoa
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 5×10 loaf pan.
2. Gently heat the milk (being careful not to scald it); add the coffee and cocoa and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the vanilla and beat the eggs in one at a time, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for about 1 minute. The mixture will be a bit lumpy.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mixture, blend, add half the milk, and blend again. Repeat with a second third of the flour, the second half of the milk, and the last dry ingredients. Mix just until blended.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and even it out with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting, removing, and cooling fully.

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