September 8, 2018

Three-Layer Pound Cake


This was me thumbing through the September 2018 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and an image of this Three-Layer Pound Cake immediately stopped me in my tracks.  It was so visually stunning with its multiple layers that I knew I was going to make it.  As I read through the recipe I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cake was made using the reverse-creaming method.

Don't be scared off!  Basically this just means that the dry ingredients and sugar are mixed together first.  Then you add in pieces of butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Half of the liquid is then added and mixed in followed by the remaining liquids.  I find this method produces a very tender cake with a beautiful crumb.


The recipe is very straightforward and easy to follow.  My only revision would be to divide the batter evenly in to thirds to achieve even layers.  The recipe said to use 1 1/2 cups of batter each for the bottom two chocolate layers which left a thinner layer of vanilla batter on top.  Also, I wouldn't be so diligent about smoothing out the top of each layer.  I actually prefer the jagged look.

The baked cake is seriously good.  I had two slices straight away because it was so delicious.  I gave away the remaining slices to my siblings because I didn't want to be tempted!



Three-Layer Pound Cake

Makes one 9x5-inch loaf
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in to pieces, plus more for the pan
3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. 

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. In another bowl, beat together sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Continue beating while adding butter until mixture is crumbly. Add half of milk mixture; beat on medium-high until fluffy, 1 minute. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
In another large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons cocoa into chocolate. Stir in 1 1/2 cups batter. Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing top with a small offset spatula. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa into another 1 1/2 cups batter in bowl; spoon over dark-chocolate layer and smooth top. Spoon in remaining batter; smooth top.

Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 30 minutes (if top is browning too quickly, tent with foil). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

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