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Mar 7, 2006 09:57 AM

Candy's Chocolate Pound Cake -- REVIEW

  • d

After a week of skiing and dining out every night, I got back in my kitchen and decided to bake. The vanilla coffee cake post (I'll have to try that soon!) led me to one of Candy's posts about a chocolate pound cake that looked delicious, and sounded like something my picky husband would love.

I used Plugra for this recipe b/c butter is such a keystone ingredient in pound cake. On the other hand, the best cocoa powder I can find in the area is Ghirardelli; it's not bad but I'm sure there is better. The buttermilk was interesting: I always feel guilty when throwing food away, and can never find small containers of buttermilk. So I found a dry, powdered buttermilk at Fresh Market and it worked wonderfully. Also, it took my cake 1 hr 35 min to finish.

The cake is excellent. It's definitely one of the best pound cakes I've had. It was very good warm last night (my husband loved the smell so much he couldn't wait to taste, and he NEVER does that) and is just as good today. And I think that if there are leftovers, I may try to replicate an outstanding chocolate bread pudding we had in Vail last week (served with crunchy macadamia nut ice cream).

Thanks, Candy. This will definitely be making an appearance in my house again.

P.S.: here is my first attempt at including a picture.


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  1. Looks great!
    Would someone mind reposting the recipe or a link...I forgot to print it, and really want to try it.

    2 Replies
    1. Thank you, I am glad you liked it. The aroma while baking is amazing isn't it? It is great with a glass of port for dessert and it does keep well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Candy

        The aroma is fantastic. It actually called my husband away from his computer and into the kitchen where he licked the batter from the spatula, then helped me unload the dishwasher! Now that is a good cake!

        Thanks for the recipe, Candy.

      2. f

        I made the cake for weekend guests this past weekend and it received rave reviews. I actually made it a full week before and froze the entire cake, then thawed it in the fridge. It kept moist for four days.

        I used Strauss butter from here in the Bay Area, and fresh, not powdered buttermilk. The only non-dutched cocoa powder I had around was Hershey's which turned out fine, but I'd probably try a higher quality cocoa powder next time (and there WILL be a next time!). It took an hour 10 minutes to bake.

        I didn't make a glaze for it, but think I will next time with a bit of powdered sugar and espresso powder.

        Thanks Candy!

        9 Replies
        1. re: farmersdaughter

          Just curious about your comment about non-dutched cocoa. Is that preferable in a cake like this? I'm still unclear about when to use dutched and when to use natural.

          1. re: wyf4lyf

            I used reg cocoa, too. In the original thread, Candy said she used reg cocoa, so I just followed that. And I remember another poster, Danna (I think), stating that she uses them interchangably without a problem.

            If I remember correctly, if you use reg cocoa in a recipe that calls for Dutch, you have to use more cocoa than the recipe calls for. But I may be wrong on this one.

            1. re: Dev

              I thought it had to do with alkaline content of the cocoa and whether or not there was baking powder or baking soda in the recipe. Where are our board scientists? Help!

              1. re: Dev

                This is just a guess, since I haven't made this recipe, but regular, non-Dutched cocoa is more acidic than the alkaline treated Dutched cocoa. In a baking recipe with buttermilk, the goal is often to have additional leavening from the combination of an acid with the buttermilk, so using Dutched cocoa may result in a heavier cake.

            2. re: farmersdaughter

              You are welcome. It varies every time I bake it for cooking time. After an hour I start checking in my oven it can take about an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half. Depends on the weather I guess.

              1. re: farmersdaughter

                After reading so many consistent raves, I'm thinking of trying Candy's recipe in the future. I'm confused by farmersdaughter's statement above about using fresh instead of powdered buttermilk. Looking at the original post, it does call for fresh buttermilk, right? I assume you still add some water to the fresh buttermilk? I'm thinking that FD may have meant to say that she used brewed espresso as opposed to instant.

                Thanks for the clarification!

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  Carb Lover--I'm watching this thread because I was wondering the same thing. (Plus, I've got some buttermilk to use up and this will get me 1c towards my goal!)

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    farmersdaughter was contrasting how she made the cake (fresh buttermilk) with the technique of the original poster, dev (who used powdered). She was not contrasting her technique with that called for in the reciple.

                    1. re: Timowitz

                      Aha, thanks for pointing that out!

                2. I made Candy's pound cake yesterday, but don't have a standing mixer... it came out delicious and fine, even though it was a bit tedious to beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer for five minutes... I just kept reminding myself people made pound cakes before they had mixers. Also, I used salted butter (and didn't add any additional salt), and low-fat plain yogurt instead of buttermilk, and about 3/4 C of good cocoa powder and 1/4 C Hershey's. At one point the SO sauntered over and said "I'll take over", which was a little scary because he's not one for baking (or cooking, really), but even with his ministrations and my hoverings ("Don't over mix once you add the flour! This isn't bread!"), it came out delicious and perfect -- I baked it in a silicone bundt pan, and made a cocoa powder/espresso/powdered sugar/milk glaze for it... perfect and tasty -- a great go-to. Not too sweet, which was nice. As the (chocoholic) SO said, "Add this one to the chocolate cake repertoire!" Thank you Candy!

                  1. I wanted to pull this up and thank Candy for posting this recipe. It's so easy and delicious. I've made it a few times and always get compliments. Rich, fudgy but not too sweet. My 11 year old made it for Mother's Day yesterday and it turned out great--speaks to how fail-proof this recipe is. So, thanks again!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chowser

                      What "fail-proof"? The kid is obviously a genius and has a great future!

                      1. re: yayadave

                        LOL, no, a genius in the kitchen is my friend's daughter who at 8 or 9 made a complete roast chicken dinner w/ roasted potatoes and fresh rosemary from the garden, all by herself, no help. Mine just follows instructions.

                        1. re: chowser

                          When I was that age I made a chocolate birthday cake from a box for my mother. When she came home from bowling, she taught me how to "patch" with icing. TeeHee