The next recipe in my holiday baking series is a pound cake. I don’t think I’ve ever made a pound cake before, but this recipe from OMG Chocolate Desserts was too tempting not to try! Like all pound cakes, this loaf is very moist and rich. It is creamy from the white chocolate and mascarpone cheese, and the tart cranberries help to balance out the saccharine flavour. A small slice will suffice!This cake didn’t turn out the way I was expecting, but it did taste amazing! The one part that puzzled me was that I was supposed to draw a line down the middle of the batter in the loaf tin and drizzle browned butter into the channel. The recipe also didn’t specify how deep the slice should be. Obviously, batter isn’t a solid so the line disappeared and the butter floated on the top. More to the point, this procedure left a giant crater in my cake after baking and seriously ruined the structural integrity of the loaf. I also found that the butter made the cake way too oily. The moral of this story- skip out the butter trough as it does more harm than good!
187 grams cake flour (1 1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp.) I didn’t have cake flour so I sifted all purpose flour a couple times.
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
4 oz. white chocolate chunks (I used roughly diced Baker’s Chocolate)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
300g. sugar (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese ***see note below
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. brown butter (I suggest skipping this step!)
*Note: The original recipe covers the cake in frosting and then has a white chocolate drizzle. My family doesn’t like a lot of frosting so I skipped it. This cake is sweet enough with just the drizzle!
*** Mascarpone Cheese
I couldn’t find mascarpone cheese in my parents’ local Superstore. Grandma later told me that I should have been looking in the deli section and not where they keep the cottage cheese and sour cream. In any case, to substitute for mascarpone, combine with a hand mixer 4 oz. softened cream cheese (half the brick) with 1/8 cup whipping cream and 1 tbsp. of sour cream.
Ingredients for the Drizzle:
Handful of dried cranberries
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the over to 325F on the convection setting (or 350F non-convection and you will need to rotate the pan halfway through baking).
Butter and flour an 8.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. (I only lined the bottom of my loaf pan with paper because I hate when it deforms the edges of the cake, but I highly recommend making your paper go up the sides of the tin so that you have some edges to grab onto when removing the cake. My cake rose over the sides and was tricky to remove.)
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and sift it three times, set aside.
Optional: (In a small sauce pan over medium heat brown 2 tbsp. of butter until it is an amber colour, set aside to cool.)
Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and set aside.
Mix the butter on medium speed and slowly add the sugar and beat UNTIL IT IS CREAMY?! (mine never went creamy, so I would say for 5 min.)
Add heavy cream and mascarpone (or substitute), and beat on medium speed.
On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients alternating with the egg mixture.
Add a handful of flour to the chocolate chunks and toss them to cover evenly. Toss the cranberries with a handful of flour to coat them evenly. I sifted off the excess flour.
Add the chocolate chunks to the batter and fold in with a spatula, then gently fold in the cranberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the counter to remove the air bubbles.
Optional: (With a butter knife draw a line down the centre of the batter and pour browned butter into the line- a fool’s errand!)
Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Now, this should take 55 to 65 minutes but my parents’ oven is broken and doesn’t bake consistently so it took 70 minutes and by that point the top was over done and my crater from the browned butter was still wet inside (though it was cooked). After looking at the comments section on the original recipe post, it appears that other bakers had the same problem…
Let the cake cool for a while in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
When the cake is completely cooled, prepare the drizzle. (Frost beforehand if desired)
Melt the chocolate chips with the oil in a small sauce pan until smooth. Drizzle using a piping bag or a zip-lock bag (let the mixture cool slightly first, otherwise it might melt the thin plastic/ burn your hands). Sprinkle dried cranberries on top. I filled in my crater with cranberries and chocolate.