Recipe Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. The Countryman Press, Woodstock, 2003 p. 360.
This is not the recipe that I had planned to make that weekend. I'd received a lovely gift - a skull-shaped cake pan - and I was dying to try it out. After all, nothing says "first Sunday of Advent" like a skull cake." I didn't like the recipe that came with the pan, though - I just wasn't feeling the pumpkin skull, and I didn't have the ingredients for a pumpkin skull. I decided to get creative, and a combination of my creativity, my lack of basic chemistry skills and possibly inadequate pan lubrication resulted in a disaster. The cake tasted fine. It just looked terrible, as it it didn't come out of the pan resembling a skull. Oh well. Better luck next time. At any rate, I still needed a dessert for my actual dinner guests. I decided to go with a very basic pound cake.
Well, very basic turned out to mean kind of dressed up. This one called for espresso powder or instant coffee powder. Now of course we don't have instant coffee powder around here. I don't know many people who actually keep that on hand and I suspect that may be a European thing - I've mostly see it there. (I could be wrong, that's just mostly where I've seen it.) We do have some espresso somewhere but since our machine died it's gotten a little dated. What we do have on hand pretty much all the time is Greek coffee. I decided to add some spices to the Greek coffee. I also turned the cake into a whole wheat cake, used raw sugar in place of regular and served it with rosewater whipped cream. (I did give the guests the option not to have rosewater with their whipped cream, I promise. My guests are sensible people, though.)
We were all very happy with how this cake came out. It was easy to prepare and if it was a little informal that's okay. Anything more would have overpowered the flavors in the spices.
Eastern Mocha Pound Cake (serves 10; approx. $0.48/serving)
1 cup butter
17 1/2 ounces raw sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Greek coffee
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
3 ounces cocoa powder
8 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour
- Bundt pan
- Cooking spray
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Cake rack
- Rubber spatula
- Preheat your oven to 325︒.
- Lubricate your bundt pan generously with cooking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the stand mixer until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- Dissolve the coffee in the warm water and add the spices.
- Add the coffee mixture to the buttermilk.
- Combine the cocoa with the flour.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in thirds, alternating with additions of the buttermilk mixture. (It goes dry, milk, dry, milk, dry.) Scrape frequently.
- When the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated pour the mixture into your prepared pan.
- Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan 15 minutes, then invert to cool out of the pan on a cake rack completely.