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!