Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mint Stracciatella Pound Cake

Today I decided to bake a pound cake capturing the flavor of one of my favorite cold confections--gelato.  Stracciatella is an Italian term with gelato describing the process of slowly pouring melted chcolate into the ice cream maker while it's spinning, creating striations of chocolate through it.  These ribbons of bittersweet chocolate enhance the subtle mint flavor of the pound cake, much like they do in the gelato I make.

My Mom made great pound cakes, especially in the summer when sweet strawberries were in season.  What I learned from her was that a pound cake was the perfect basic cake and allows your imagination to change it into whatever the occasion presents.

I guess I was imagining strolling through Faneuil Hall Marketplace, in the summer heat, savoring a gelato from one of the vendors.  We lived in Massachusetts in the early 90s and along with our daughters, we loved to go into Boston for the day on the train.  Memories inspire me; memories and a good lesson from my mother.

Mint Stracciatella Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups (3 Sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-8oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 tsp. peppermint oil
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
3 1/2 cups + 2 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup whole or 2% milk
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F-degree.  Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave (30 seconds at a time for 1 minute).  Pour the melted chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet and use a spatula to spread.
Place the chocolate into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile start the pound cake batter.  In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Beat in the peppermint oil and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and the milk and beat until fully mixed.  

Remove chocolate from the freeze and lifting the parchment, break into pieces.
Add these broken "shards" of chocolate to the batter and then spoon into a 12-cup bundt pan that has been sprayed with a baking spray.

 Bake pound cake for 55 minutes, then, lower temperature to 325F-degrees for another 15-20 minutes (until top is firm to the touch).  Let cool for 15 minutes before inverting cake onto a serving plate.

The stria's of bittersweet chocolate make this pound cake very classy.  Serve it with just a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar or maybe a scoop of gelato.  Enjoy!


  1. Pound cake is one of my favorite has so many memories attached to it. Adding the bit of chocolate this way sounds wonderful.

  2. I can't wait to make this pound cake. Actually I really want to make the chocolate shards----it's something I've never done!! We love pound cake. In the summer when our blueberries are plentiful, I layer a cupfull in the batter and press more on top. And, of course, pound cake is always good with strawberries or lemon glaze or just plain. Thanks for the new technique. Hugs, Barb

  3. Oh yum! I am so glad that I found your blog! I'm a new follower and so glad that I am! Delicious!!! Hope you can visit my blog, boston bee sometime too;)Alyssa

  4. Ummm. . .Yum! This looks terrific, but I just hate when I see cakes on the blog because you can't really effectively put those in the mail :)

  5. Looks great.... I'm getting in the mood to bake something! Something with chocolate.

  6. I have to tell you this is the most beautiful cake I have ever made!!!! And so delicious! The chocolate shards were amazingly easy to make and I am pleased as punch that I have learned a new technique!! (I must thank you again for the wonderful new Bundt pan and the vanilla beans. Without the Bundt pan, the cake would still be in the oven or all over the oven!!) Love & Hugs, Barb

  7. I'm glad someone in the family appreciates all my gadgets, pan, and specialty ingredients :D!

  8. you would have to come out with the pound cake, i am trying to keep my weight down over here. xo.

  9. I like the way you think. Looks like your idea was a delicious success. It really turned out beautiful. I hope you'll come by and link up your sweets to Sweets for a Saturday #6.