07 April, 2012

Chocolate Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

That title just says it all, doesn't it? Chocolate plus orange says enough. But chuck cream cheese into that and you've got yourself a fabbo-losso cake!
This isn't really an easter cake. But since today is easter day, I am going to pretend that this is one. All hail this mouthwatering orange infused, chocolate chunked easter cake!
I think this unholy heart disease amount of lard (butter and cream cheese..mmm) that's in this cake makes you want to push it as far away from you as you possibly can. Yes, I understand that those thighs need toning, that those love handles need to be gone and that you need that flat stomach. But honestly, this cake cancels all of that out. One whiff of the heavenly smell that this cake produces from the oven will be enough to slap that weight anxiety out of you.
We all need to indulge. And chocolate and orange is the way to do it. Oh.. and cream cheese too!
I hope everyone is having a great Easter! I am.. as you can see.. I went a bit overboard with the chocolate buttons. It's all part of the chocolate festivity..right?
I love it when you get a cake out of the oven and it has that satisfyingly large gaping split in the middle of it, it makes you want to get your whole fist and stuff it in the cake. Anyone else feel like that? No? I think it's just me then.
Remember, there are two things to note when baking this cake.
1. Forget dieting
2. Add those chocolate buttons!!

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 people find 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.