This cake is perfect for:
People who don’t like overly sweet desserts.
People who don’t like chocolate desserts that are too “chocolate-y”.
People who like coffee-flavored anything.
People with mouths.
If you know someone who fits this description (maybe even you?), then you will want to make this cake. Super flavorful, but not-too-rich. The glaze imparts a subtle coffee flavor, and keeps the cake extra moist.
This recipe makes two cakes and freezes beautifully. And since the glaze is all the adornment needed, it’s the perfect dessert to bring to a friend (you know, if you’re nice enough to give one away….).
Classic Chocolate-Espresso Pound Cake
adapted from The Cake Bible
For the cake:
1/2 c. Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
3 oz. boiling water
1 T. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 sticks + 2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces
For the espresso syrup:
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. espresso or strong brewed coffee
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 x 2 loaf pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Make the cakes: In a medium bowl whisk the cocoa and water till smooth. Let cool to room temperature and lightly whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat on low for a few seconds to blend. Add all of the butter and half the cocoa mixture. Beat for 2 minutes on medium. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining cocoa mixture in 2 additions, beating for about 30 seconds each time. Scrape down the sides.
Pour the batter evenly between your two prepared pans – smooth the tops with a small angled spatula. Bake for about an hour, or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make the syrup: Toward the end of the baking time, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. When cooled, whisk in coffee.
Cool cakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the pans with a small angled spatula and turn cakes out onto the rack. Poke the tops all over with a cake tester or skewer. Brush the sides and tops with the syrup, and let cool completely.
Store, wrapped, overnight for best flavor and texture (or freeze for longer storage).