The more the days pass, the more experiences I go through, both good ones and bad ones. This past weekend, for instance, I went to this crazy once-in-a-lifetime party called Sensation. It was mandatory to wear all white, and they turned the American Airlines Arena into an underwater world, including jellyfish, pearls, bubbles, and water. There were thousands and thousands of people in the Arena from all around the world, all congregated to dance the night away to the sounds of Mr. White, Nic Fanciulli, Prok & Fitch, and Fedde Le Grand (all types of Electronic Dance Music for those who don't really know who any of those people are). The lights, decorations, music, ambiance, everything just united into making it a truly unforgettable experience. Once home, I realized that nights like those were ones worth living for, ones that lived on in the eternity of our minds and memories. Even though I can go ahead and give a full account of the night, the re-telling will never be as great as the actual "living it" part of the night. Looking at the pictures brings back the specific songs that made the night, the random things we would see people do that can't be described, those moments where I'd look into my date's eyes and I'd know that he was feeling the same way I was. At the end of the day, every memory blends into eternity and survives time.
Chocolate Pound Cake
adapted from: CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown
*makes: one 12-cup Bundt cake*
"This cake is a trusted standby for chocolate lovers. The taste is simple, it's familiar, and the chocolate flavor is just rich enough. Slices of this cake are even more delicious lightly buttered and warmed in a frying pan. Happy baking!
This recipes makes a lot of batter."
10 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
2 oz unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
1 tsp all natural unmodified potato starch
1/4 tsp Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp "Crush" pure vanilla bean extract
1/2 lb sweet cream unsalted butter
24 oz extra fine granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 large yolks
1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Set the rack in the middle of the oven.
2) Set out the ingredients and equipment.
- Sift the flour directly into a bowl on a scale for accurate measuring.
- Measure the other dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk for 10 seconds to blend. Set aside.
- Measure the liquid ingredients into a separate bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.
- Measure the butter and sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
- Crack the eggs and yolk into separate bowls and set aside.
3) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
4) With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolk, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
5) Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don't wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
6) Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down. Don't miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter's structure.
7) Prepare the pan. Spray the pan well with a nonstick spray.
8) Fill the pan about three-quarters full by depositing the batter with the rubber spatula in small clumps around the prepared pan instead of by pouring it into one spot. Level the batter with the rubber spatula.
9) Bake for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.
10) Once the top of the cake doesn't jiggle in the center, test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake. When the skewer shows just a touch of crumbs or comes out clean, and the color is an even medium brown, the cake is done. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface or wire rack.
11) Once the cake has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cake by inverting the pan onto a flat surface.
12) Serve at room temperature with a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Store under a cake dome at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to 1 week. To store longer, label, date, and store the plastic-wrapped cake in the freezer for up to 1 month.