Let’s face it: we live in a Momofuku world. Desserts these days are prized for taking hours to create, containing outlandish ingredients, and requiring surgeon-like skills to execute. If you’re not familiar with the wild desserts coming out of this New York restaurant, here is a good article by Bon Appetit.
I think desserts like this are wonderful. Once in a blue moon, I even like tackling such projects. Furthermore, someone in my house has been begging for me to make the Momofuku carrot cake truffles. At some point, I’m going to have to oblige.
Truthfully, I believe I have an old soul. I long for simpler days, and I think often of how my grandparents grew up and compare it to my own life. Anytime I’m scooping Beluga lentils out of the bulk bins at an over-priced natural foods market, I pause. My grandparents most certainly did not eat lentils. When I get frustrated that my small town grocer does not carry watercress, I remind myself that iceberg and homegrown Romaine were good enough for them, and therefore, they should be good enough for me.
I like to create delicious desserts using simple ingredients. I don’t like to drive to the store just for one ingredient, because, well I don’t have the time. I work full time at a job I love, and I also run this site, which takes more time than I ever imagined. I bake using what I have on hand. My hope is that you also have these items on hand and can whip up something delicious, too.
If you think about it, marble cakes must have been quite the rage when they first came out. “Can’t decide on a cake flavor? Have both!” But now, two-flavored cakes are borderline boring when compared to today’s modern desserts with exotic ingredients.
This cake, however, is anything but boring. The vanilla pound cake is rich with a tender crumb. The chocolate batter has instant espresso stirred in to amp up the cocoa powder. This cake is nothing short of perfection: simple vanilla and chocolate harmony.
And that’s how I like it: simple and perfect.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup flour
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk + 1 teaspoon (divided use)
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Before beginning, leave all ingredients for the pound cake on the counter and let them come to room temperature.
- Then, butter a 5¾” x 3” x 2” mini loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter and the sugar. Beat this mixture for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes fluffy and pale yellow.
- Add the egg, and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
- Next, add the baking powder and half of the flour. Mix to combine, then add 3 tablespoons of the milk.
- Add the remaining flour and mix just until combined—do not over-mix the batter.
- Scoop out 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter into a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of milk, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Stir very well--at first, it will seem like it won't come together, but it will.
- Pour the vanilla batter into the mini loaf pan. Then, dot the chocolate batter on top and use a toothpick or small knife to swirl into the vanilla batter.
- Bake 38-42 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the pound cake to cool for a few minutes before dumping it out on a wire rack to finish cooling.