I have to go do some things, but before I do I wanted to leave you with cake.
You have to make it. Or you don't have to. But it is delicious and I hope you do. We've got seasonal citrus involved, and chocolate, but it isn't a chocolate cake - I will take almost every kind of cake over chocolate cake, but I really enjoy it in cakes. Here, the chocolate is a treat. Little pockets and dashes of bittersweet richness, backed by an intense Clementine note. You're really going somewhere with this. You won't want to leave this cake alone.
But before I continue, can we talk about Gary from 'Teen Mom' for a moment? He fascinates me. Sometimes when I watch that show, I think both forwards and backwards. Does Gary know what life holds for him? Did he know then? Did he know about Amber's bangs? I bet he didn't.
That show is filling my brain right now, the parts that aren't heaving with actual to-do lists. I apologize.
This cake though, is such a great distraction. Almost as good as 'Teen Mom'.
Really: This is a great, great cake. I've made it twice in two weeks - the first as a birthday cake, frosted with cream cheese icing. That was good, but this time around it was better - I used chunks instead of (milk) chocolate chips, upped the zest and dolloped the batter into loaf pans. The shards and dust left over after chunking the chocolate went in too, and I can only assume made the cake even better.
And I included the seeds of a vanilla pod, which just added to the perfume. This is a cake that smells delicious, while it is baking, while it is cooking. When you unwrap the stumps to slice off just one more piece, it is like sticking your face into the neck of someone who smells delightful. If you wanted to, you could add some lavender in the spring (I would take out the chocolate), or finely minced rosemary. And then it would smell like your Dad, but only in the best way.
You'll find the base recipe everywhere - when I googled 'Sour Cream Poundcake' the same version came up time and time again, with one difference. Some recipes use four eggs, some six. I used six, and there is a definite increase in egginess and a softer, velvet crumb. But not gross. You're not eating flan. Next time I'm going to use four, and see where that gets us. Also, the amount of the sugar can be as much as 3 cups, or as little as 2. I used 2 1/2.So that is it, for this edition of Cake News. I hope your New Year has been great. I will see you soon. Watch 'Teen Mom'. Get back to me.
Clementine and Sour Cream Poundcake with Chocolate Chunks
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups AP flour
6 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Zest of 3-4 Clementines (or Satsumas, or 1 heaping TBS orange zest)
1 cup (8 ounces) Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 heaping cups of semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, then butter and flour two light-colored loaf pans. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix one Tablespoon of the flour mixture with the chocolate chunks, then set those aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, vanilla bean seeds and Clementine zest until pale and fluffy. Scrape down your bowl. Add your eggs two at a time, mixing each pair in completely. Scrap your bowl again. You should have a bowl full of generous, pale fluff. Next, sprinkle in 1 cup of the flour mixture, mixing on low. Add half the sour cream, mix, then another cup of the flour, then the rest of the sour cream, then the rest of the flour. Mix on low until everything is velvety.
Add the chocolate chunks and any residual flour to the batter, gently folding them in with a rubber spatula. Divide batter between pans, and smooth the tops. Bake until the tops are golden, crusty and a toothpick comes out clean, around 40-50 minutes (check every 5, after 30 minute mark if your oven runs hot and fast). Cool in pans for 20 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife and turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.
Serve with coffee, tea, other legal liquids. Or loosely whipped cream. Ponder MTV programming, and savor it.