Peanut butter and chocolate may be the most famous chocolate-nut flavor combo, but we love almond and chocolate just as much. Here it’s featured in a moist, flavorful pound cake from Dikla Levy Frances’s new book, Baking Science (Page Street Publishing, 2021). This cake, according to Dikla, is “a great example of the pound cake ratio and mixing method,” one of the baking techniques she highlights and explains in the book.
Yield: One 2 ½ x 4 x 9–inch (6 x 10 x 23–cm) cake
- Baker’s spray for greasing the pan
- 3⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp (184 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup (120 milliliters) full-fat milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) almond paste
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄3 cup (45 grams) semisweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), grease the bottom and sides of one 2 1/2 x 4 x 9–inch (6 x 10 x 23–cm) loaf pan with baker’s spray, then line the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to blend. Set aside. In a measuring cup, mix the milk, almond extract and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and almond paste together on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. This step is what aerates the cake and gives it the ideal light and fluffy texture. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times during this process. Sometimes, the paddle doesn’t reach the bottom and sides of the bowl, which means some of the mixture doesn’t get aerated.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting for each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to allow a full blending of the mixture. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, making sure to start and end with the flour.
- Once you add the last portion of the flour mixture, turn the mixer off and use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the flour.
- Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan, then pour the melted chocolate on top of the cake. Use a knife or a wooden skewer to gently incorporate the chocolate into the batter by swirling.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake appears dry and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before inverting it to serve. The cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Reprinted with permission from Baking Science by Dikla Levy Frances, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Dikla Levy Frances