Today I had the good fortune of having Jenny, Sally and Serena over for lunch. Even though they didn't stay very long (since Serena had to return to work) and lunch was only a humble affair of plain porridge with four simple dishes, I think it is safe to say that everyone had a great time. It is, afterall, not everyday that we have so many GPs sit around the lunch table all at once.
For dessert, I made a cake.
Chocolate-Sour Cream Pound Cake with Cheesecake Swirl
Adapted from Baking for All Occasions: A Treasury of Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Flo Braker
Makes one 9-inch Bundt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
15 grams ground hazelnut
2 tablespoons dried sour cherries (I used orange-flavoured dried cranberries)
Chocolate-Sour Cream Pound Cake
65 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
180 ml warm water
260 grams cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
170 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
300 grams caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
170 grams sour cream
Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven at 180 degrees C (or 165 degrees C if the pan has a dark finish). Lightly butter and flour a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.
For the cake batter, whisk together cocoa powder and warm water in a medium bowl until well blended. Set aside to cool. Have all of the remaining ingredients at room temperature.
To make the Cheesecake Swirl: In a medium bowl, the cheese with a rubber spatula just until the cheese is smooth and creamy. Beat in the sugar until blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined and creamy. Stir in the nuts and cranberries until evenly distributed. Set aside.
To make the Chocolate-Sour Cream Pound Cake: Sieve flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy and smooth then add sugar, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Continue to beat until the mixture is very light in colour and texture.
Add eggs very slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and pale ivory in colour. Add the vanilla and sour cream to the cooled cocoa mixture and stir to combine. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when pressed lightly and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out free of batter, 60 – 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before turning the cake out of the pan.