I know, you associate Christmas with all things gingerbread and plum cakes, but there’s a world of flavours and combinations out there, begging to be tried for the Holidays! I can be a bit dramatic, but I get that way when I have something truly exciting to share with you. There are just so many levels of flavour in this pound cake. The butter is browned until it smells nutty and divine, and I added a bit or rosemary to add some savory notes to the cake. Just before it’s packed off to the oven, a generous amount of cacao nibs and orange zest (we seem to forget they are in season right now) get folded into the batter.
Think of cacao nibs as an alternative to adding any sort of nuts to the cake. What are cacao nibs, you ask? They are bits of roasted cacao beans without cacao butter, milk and sugar. Nutty in flavour, their flavour veers a bit to the bitter side, but in a dark chocolate bitter sort of way. They add crunch to this cake, without any nuts! And we also have a rich chocolate sauce to accompany this decadent cake. Umm… trust me, you don’t want to miss baking this beauty of a recipe!
Time taken – 40 minutes + baking and cooling time Serves 6
INGREDIENTS: For Chocolate Sauce
– Water: 125 ml
– Sugar: 50 gms
– Corn syrup: 80 gms
– Cocoa powder: 38 gms
– 45% dark chocolate: 28 gms
INGREDIENTS: For the Pound Cake
– Butter: 150 gms
– Sprigs of rosemary: 4 nos.
– All-purpose flour: 150 gms
– Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
– Eggs: 3 nos.
– Caster sugar: 150 gms
METHOD: For Chocolate Sauce
– In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder.
– Place it on low heat and whisk together to combine. Stir every now and then to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. As soon as it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and add the pieces of chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted completely into the sauce. Set aside and let it cool and thicken for a few hours.
METHOD: For the Pound CakePlace
– Place the butter and the rosemary in a large saucepan and place on low heat. Once the butter has melted, slowly you will see it foaming up. Use a spatula to keep stirring it so that the milk solids don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
– Once the crackling sound dies down, you will get a nutty aroma. Move the foam around in the pan to see the brown butter at the bottom. Take it off the heat and take out the sprigs of rosemary. Let the butter cool slightly.
– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 9 x 5 –inch pan with parchment paper.
– Sift together the flour and baking powder
– In the bowl of the Stand Mixer, fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat together the eggs and the sugar on medium speed. Drizzle in the brown butter and continue beating.
– Sift in the flour in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Add the Cacao nibs and orange zest and combine with the speed of the Stand Mixer on low.
– Pour the batter into the prepared Loaf Pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
– Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then pull out of the pan. Serve the cake warm with chocolate sauce drizzled generously.