Espresso Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze

"Common sense is very uncommon." - Horace Greeley

You would think that wisdom comes with age, same as common sense. The older you get, the more things you live through, mistakes become learning experiences, and that's why they've always taught the young ones to always respect our elders. It's pretty frustrating to see so many "older" people being ignorant and preaching without practicing. I recently had a person in a high position in the work force comment on my love life. The comment was beyond uncalled for and was actually completely disrespectful to me. What was astounding about the situation, apart from the actual comments, was that her own personal (married) life is the poster for "How a Marriage Should NOT Be" mostly because she's an enabler to her husband's ways. Sad part is, she doesn't do anything to change things in order to even receive a centimeter of respect from him. Why are so many people like that though, both older and those of my same age? So many people rush to judge and give opinions while their own lives are nowhere near the image of perfection they strive so hard to appear to have. Oh! My personal favorite is the person who keeps tabs on your life, criticizes you, but then tries to be just like you. My parents always taught me how to be myself and be proud of who I am, but that doesn't mean I should go around telling people how to live their lives. I don't know. I just had to rant about this somewhere public. One thing that definitely won't have people judging wrongly is this cake, specially if they love coffee (which, now-a-days, who doesn't?).

Espresso Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze
adapted from: CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown

*makes: one 12-cup Bundt cake*

"'Tastes like a latte!' my sister Liz said with a big grin when she sampled this cake just hours after the first batch came out of the oven. Bingo? I think so - my goal here was to make a coffee-flavored coffee cake.

I created this recipe on the fly during an early-morning television shoot chronicling my adventures in baking. The producer asked me to create something special. Happy to oblige, I went for a flavor that I was craving that morning: espresso. For the jolt of a double shot, use 8 tablespoons of espresso instead of 6 for a single shot. Warning - this is real espresso in here!"

12 oz unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbsp all natural unmodified potato starch
2 tbsp Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp ground Café Espresso
6 oz sour cream
2 tbsp ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream
1 tsp "Crush" pure vanilla bean extract
3 tbsp brandy
6 oz sweet unsalted butter
16 oz extra-fine granulated sugar
3 tbsp turbinado sugar
5 large eggs

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, granulated sugar, and turbinado sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl 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, 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. 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 45 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 the cake is done. The sheen on top may look liquid, but this is normal and comes from the fat in the heavy cream. 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. Allow it to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before glazing with the Chocolate Glaze.
12) Pour on ample amounts of Chocolate Glaze to create a cascade down the sides.
13) Store under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cups ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream
2 tsp "Crush" pure vanilla bean extract
10 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate premium baking chips

1) Set the cooled cake on a wire rack with wax or parchment paper underneath it to catch any drips.
2) Combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
3) Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a medium-sized nonreactive mixing bowl, preferably one with a handle and a small pouring spout.
4) Remove the hot vanilla-cream mixture from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the heat from the cream melt the chocolate for 10 to 20 seconds, then gently whisk until smooth.
5) Immediately pour the glaze over the cake. Pour the glaze in a thin, steady stream in a crisscross fashion, working your way around the cake for even coverage. If you want more chocolate on the cake, repeat until it looks right.
6) Serve immediately, while the glaze is still warm.

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