Hortensia’s Best-Ever Chocolate Pound Cake

serves 12

This recipe for chocolate pound cake comes from Douglas Rodriguez’s Latin Flavors on the Grill. I have three favorite kinds of cake – coconut, lemon, and a deep, moist rich chocolate cake. I’m a big fan of the flourless or lava cakes. This is not as moist as those, but it is moist enough to hold onto the rich chocolate flavor. From what I’ve read in other cakes similar to this one, I think part of the secret is in using espresso coffee extract and dutch cocoa powder.

  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature (but still firm), to brush the pan
  • ¼ cup sugar to line the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBL unsweetened dutch processed cocoa recipe calls for Van Leer Dutch process medium cocoa but I can’t find it any more; the dutch processing is important to texture of the cake
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp espresso extract
  • 5 eggs
  • cups buttermilk
  • Cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar, to finish
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees if you have convection bake, use it but then cut bake on the cooking time. If not using convection, you’ll need to cook it longer. I’ve done both…you just need to keep an eye on it towards the end to not over bake
  • Brush a 10-inch Bundt pan with the room-temperature (but still firm) unsalted butter, be sure to really coat the entire surface!
  • Pour ¼ cup sugar into the pan, swirling the sugar so that the chimney and sides are covered well
  • Turn the pan upside down to remove any excess sugar and set aside
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle cream the butter on medium speed
  • Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy
  • Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula
  • Beating at medium speed, add the vanilla, espresso extract, and the eggs, one by one, beating only until they are well blended
  • Beating on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture and a third of the buttermilk
  • Do this twice more with the remaining ingredients and buttermilk, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula in between
  • Finally, beat the batter on medium speed for 30 seconds, until it is smooth
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan
  • Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top feels springy and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean for me, the 50 minutes was just a few minutes too long for my convection oven. I recommend checking it after 45. For non-convection, I’d start checking it around 60 minutes
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then turn it out onto the wire rack to finish cooling
  • To finish, dust the cake with cocoa or confectioners’ sugar (or both!)
Recommended products
The copy of this cookbook that I currently own, I purchased directly from Douglas Rodriguez at one of Boston’s Restaurant Week events years ago. Here’s a handy link to purchasing it from Amazon. I make this cake recipe multiple times a year, and as I look through it now, I’m rediscovering some old favorites, like his recipe for Tuna with mango-ginger-lime mojo…yum!

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