Monday, June 15, 2009
The nice thing about blogging is that the reader will never really know how something tastes. Pictures may look fabulous but for all we know, it could be like taking a bite out of a styrofoam cake--you know, the kind that's decorated so intricately and beautifully for bakery windows. I sometimes sort of take comfort in knowing that when I take pictures of my food, no one will ever know that the reward of sinking your teeth into it is nowhere close to what it looks like. Readers will just have to take my word for it. But when it comes down to it, I'm a terrible liar, and I could not with a clear conscious proclaim to you how wonderful something I've made is when it's nothing like that at all. So, yet again, such was the case for my latest attempt.
I recently received the June issue of Martha Stewart's Living and the magazine just exuded summer. A refreshing photo of blueberries resting on top of an ice cream and sorbet sundae graced the cover...mmm.... And of course, one of the headlines declared "20 Sensational Desserts"! I'm all over this one. Martha knows how to draw me in.
Flipping through the magazine, she's got all the usual crafty features--cool ideas that I could probably never replicate--and 10 variations on the classic pound cake! The basic recipe called for only 6 ingredients, and variations were simply add-ins. This looked like something that would not be too laborious, especially since I was making this on a weeknight after work. I halved the recipe (as best I could, since the original proportions did not divide perfectly) to make one loaf instead of two, and after baking it up and cutting a slice, I knew it was not going to be like Martha's at all. It did not have the same height that Martha's achieved, and it was dry and dense instead of "airy and rich". Martha does say that the recipe is "finicky" and to follow the instructions carefully, which I could very well have not done. I'll try to rewrite the recipe here with the original proportions (I didn't see this recipe on her website and the recipe there is different from what was in the magazine), and if you try it out, I hope you have better results than I did. At least the pictures don't look too bad.
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
Makes 2 5in. x 9in. cakes
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees, with the rack in the center. Butter or grease the loaf pans.
1. Mix together by hand using a wire whisk:
- 3-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 T. salt (I used kosher)
2. In a separate bowl, cream together on high for about 8 minutes:
- 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
3. Add in the following and mix in on medium:
- 1 t. vanilla extract
4. Beat separately then add into the butter mixture in 4 additions:
- 9 large eggs, room temperature
5. On low, add in the flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Fold in:
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6. Pour the batter evenly into the pans, baking for about 65 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then invert the pans to remove the cakes, and cool on the wire rack completely.