Apr 5, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Pound Cake

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Actual conversation that recently took place in my household:

Me, to Little C: What did you just say?
Little C: I said–I’m a hot mess, Mama. You know, like you!
True story. And such a terrific example of how children of a certain age can make you want to suffocate them with kisses, laugh until you cry and yet simultaneously horrify you. Now, in all fairness, I do often proclaim loudly that I am a hot mess, and everybody knows that toddlers are parrots (and pudgy-knuckled crumb carriers). But that doesn’t give my barely two-and-half-year-old offspring reason to rub it in, right? Also, let it be known that my disorganized shanty of a brain managed to actually pull something genius out the madness in recent days–Chocolate Truffle Pound Cake. Little C shoved half of it in her face almost immediately. Kids, I tell ya. They never give you any credit.

Way back when I shared an heirloom recipe for a much-loved, buttery, golden-crusted pound cake with you, I thought I’d reached the Pound Cake Apex. And in a way, I had. But that was before I thought to make a soft bittersweet chocolate ganache, scoop it into gumball-sized truffles, and then bake them into the pound cake. I know, right?! Next level stuff.

So grab yourself a big, thick slice and a tall glass of milk and enjoy. Marvel at the combination of buttery, fragrant vanilla cake tunneled with melty chocolate truffles. And try to ignore any nearby toddlers who are probably just criticizing you behind your back.

Chocolate Truffle Pound Cake

This is a perfect cake for gifting–it actually gets better in the few days following baking.

Don’t fret about making perfectly round truffles. Some of them will melt in the batter and make their own little chocolate tunnels throughout the cake.
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

For the chocolate truffles:

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao), chopped

3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups cake flour, spooned and leveled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (not lowfat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Begin by making the chocolate truffles. Combine the chocolate and the cream in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring well after each, until the mixture is smooth. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to set until firm, several hours or overnight. If you’re impatient like me, you can speed things up by throwing the bowl in the freezer until set.

When the ganache is firm, use a small scoop (I like a melon baller) to scoop truffles about 1 inch in diameter. Place the truffles on a small parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze again until firm, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

Sift the flour with the salt and baking soda into a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and beat in the eggs one and a time. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir in the sour cream and vanilla on low speed. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time on low speed until the batter is smooth.

Pour the half the batter into the prepared pan. Drop half the truffles willy-nilly about the surface of the batter, pressing them lightly into the batter, but not submerging them completely. Repeat with the second half of the batter and truffles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (melty chocolate notwithstanding), about 70-80 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before using the parchment sleeve to remove the cake from the pan and allowing it to cool completely.

  • this is a brilliant recipe & i cannot wait to re-create it!
    your little c is delightful!

  • LOL on Little C! This looks delicious – I've never seen truffles in pound cake before!

  • Hot mess…that is hilarious. And what a pound cake! That is such a fantastic idea.

  • I'm always a sucker for Pound Cake. And, I actually have 5 batches of truffle filling in the fridge that I never got around to dipping for Valentine's Day. Epic fail…until now! Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Champagne & Frangelico Truffle Pound Cakes? You bet. Thanks for the chance at redemption. 🙂

  • Well kids most definitely say the darndest things! As i was walking to physical therapy today, a dad was telling his probably 4 or 5 year old son that he went to bed too late and woke up too early. To which the kid responded indignantly, "Well I guess you just need to teach me how to sleep, DAD." It was adorable.

    Truffles do make everything better now don't they? Even things you think can't get any better. Marvelous things, they are.

  • Brilliant! Seriously. I've done something like this before – embedding truffles in a brick of homemade mint ice cream – but oh my, I think I like the baked version even better. And me with all this extra truffle ganache just laying around . . . .

  • Truffles in pound cake? Oh yum! So delicious. 🙂

  • A hot mess huh? I love that her mama brings chocolate truffles and pound cake into the same pan. Less hot mess than delightful delicious mess if you ask me.

  • What a great technique! I can hear all that ganache goodness calling to me now!

  • I want that pound cake, now! Looks absolutely amazing! *drool*

  • Oh my. This is dangerous. I will use Easter as an excuse to make it. A holiday always gives me a free pass to splurge on sugar and butter – then of course some chocolate in honor of the Easter bunny.

  • I am so in love with this. If I weren't wearing my fat pants right now, I'd be making this.

  • That is SO cute! She sounds adorable…
    And the chocolate truffle pound cake – yum!

  • I'd say this is a pretty great cake for any hot mess 🙂 Seriously though, I think this is my new favorite idea.

  • Shauna,
    This turned out fantastic! I took the Culinary Charlatan's idea and put some Kahlua in the truffles. Nice touch. My only complaint is that the truffles sunk to the bottom of the loaf, and did not end up throughout as your pictures showed. Oh well.
    Thanks again for inspiring me in the kitchen!

  • Very nice, thanks for the information.

  • very tempting…..looks delicious! This is something I cant resist not trying…..

  • Chocolate + pound cake = genius! Yum!

  • Oh yumm that looks amazing! Awesome idea. P.S – I keep getting directed to your old, blogspot address?

  • Rod–Bummer! Wonder what happened there. But as long as it tasted good, that's all that really matters. So glad you tried it out, though!

    Avanika–It's all good. It's supposed to happen that way. Thanks for looking out! 🙂

  • I agree with Rod the pound cake taste wonderful but the chocolate truffles sank to the bottom, will have to try it again.

  • it was delish! however i think it might keep the truffles aloft in the batter if they are rolled in flour so it suspends them in the cake as it rises…its an old bakers trick used when adding stuff to bake in cakes so it doesnt sink to bottom

  • Where could I find a picture of this recipe? Because that usually entices either my husband or myself to cook it

  • it was ssoooooooooooooooooooo good! now u have to liek the dark chocolate which i love they didnt sit in place the kinda traveled south but regardless it was a great cake served at a dinner party

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