What comforts you these days?
My immediate comforts include pastel Easter candy, pizza from Delancey in Seattle, and hot coffee on hot coffee on hot coffee. I’m also soothed by caramel colored bourbon from small glass tea cups… that’s how ladies (and grandmothers) drink their bourbon. Why are all of my comforts food related?
I’m also comforted by old episodes of Seinfeld (who doesn’t like cashmere!?), copious amounts of post-it notes, over-sized grey sweaters, black leather wedge heels, and surprisingly…. I’ve been comforted by crowds of strangers. Thank you, people. I love you tremendous.
Chocolate and orange are also deep in my comfort brain sensors. Pound cake as a vehicle is just supreme.
Hello, Portland! You sure do know how to make a lady and her cookbook feel welcome! Thank you for coming out in the rain. Thank you for bringing me spoons to sign, lip stain to wear, and bright blue nail polish. It’s like you know me… because you totally do. You are true people. Thank you for all your smiles and love.
Please find, in the back left of the above photograph, someone holding up a little red baby. Sweet Jesus… I love you.
HeyHey Seattle, you look pretty in rain and grey… especially when you accent it with pink and turquoise. I love a good crash of color.
Chocolate and orange and chaos. Too many plates. Two cups of tea. Orange bites, and thick sliced cake.
I like when dessert settings appear cacophonous, and tend toward the delicious!
A chocolate and orange engagement.
These dark chocolate buttons go down easy. Snack!
Here’s an excellent trick!
Rub orange zest into granulated sugar. This process releases the essential oils from the zest and makes the sugar mixture fragrant and orange tinted. It’s a great way to infuse orange flavor into breads and cakes.
This batter is thick and creamy. It’s the cream cheese that’s beat into the butter.
It’s always the cream cheese.
Orange scented and chocolate studded.
A good amount of this batter went into my belly raw. Don’t be like me.
Golden top. Split and beautifully crusted. I love the crust of this cake. It has weight. It’s intentional.
Don’t let this cake get to you. It takes a good, long while to bake. With a little rotating in the oven, and some testing with a skewer, the cake will be done in about an hour. Don’t fret, a deep golden-crusted top is a win!
Ooooh Seattle, I love you! I really do! You’re hilarious and fashionable. You’re obsessed with coconut flour, and you really really know how to bake. Thank you Book Larder. Thank you to everyone who made treats to share. Thank you for your kindness, patience, and awesome cat stories. Thank you for bringing me bourbon and doughnuts… it’s like you can see right into my soul… because those two things are always among my deepest desires. You amaze me.
I’ve been spending a lot of time being comforted by this French Feasts. It has misty qualities that lend its reader toward delicious daydreaming, soft eggs, and fresh bread.
I love this picture of Gail Simmons’ new book. It makes me think of layers of plates, oysters and pearls, and three course dessert presentations. Certainly not the everyday… but grand when it happens.
Chocolate Orange Pound Cake
makes one 9×5-inch loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate pieces
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan and dust with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
On a clean cutting board or counter, place the granulated sugar. Add the orange zest. With a bench scraper or the back of the spoon, work the zest into the granulated sugar, creating a fragrant and orange flavored sugar. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl and make sure that the butter and cream cheese are evenly mixed. Add the citrus zest to the butter and cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On medium speed, beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.
Add dry ingredients all at once. Beat on low speed until dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate pieces.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once or twice during baking. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.
*Some readers are finding that the cake takes up to 75 minutes to fully cook. You might consider loosely placing a foil tent over the cake after about 45 minutes of baking. This will keep it from browning too much, and help the center bake up.
Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to four days.