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Chocolate Fondue with Orange Zest Pound Cake
From Chocolate for Breakfast, by Barbara Passino, photographs by Marc Hoberman

There's something very intimate and primal about eating warm, gooey food out of the same pot. And sticky. And laughter-inducing. Not to mention the romance of eating by a fire, even if it's a teeny one ... always a good way to start the day.

Pound cake was traditionally made with a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, a pound of butter... This version is more of a half-a-pound cake. It's lighter, but still has that traditional dense texture that makes it hold together when dipped in a hot, thick chocolate fondue.

Ingredients:

For the Pound Cake:

5 large eggs
1 Tbsp orange juice (see note)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sifted cake flour

For the Fondue:

1/2 cup cream
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy

Special equipment:

A chocolate fondue pot, or use a ramekin set over a votive candle (like the type used to serve melted butter at a lobster bake) and small forks or skewers to spear the cake and fruit.

Instructions:

For the Pound Cake:

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

Lightly oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with waxed paper or parchment.

Thoroughly whisk the eggs, juice, vanilla and grated orange zest together and set them aside.

In a mixer, whip the butter at high speed until it's smooth and light-colored. Add the sugar and salt and whip some more until the mixture is light and fluffy. At medium speed, slowly add the egg mixture. Beat for several more minutes until everything is fully incorporated. Then at low speed, add half the flour, mix a bit more, then add the remaining half, mixing well.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 70 minutes until it's golden on top, springs back to a light touch, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Put the hot pan on a rack and let it cool and settle for 15 minutes. Loosen the pound cake by sliding a knife around the rim and tip it out onto a rack. Remove the paper and let the cake cool completely before cutting.

For the Fondue:

Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour it in a bowl over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until velvety smooth. Add the cognac and pour the mixture into the ramekin. Arrange the dipping choices on a fig leaf.

Alternative: For a spicy version, add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and substitute tequila for the cognac. Serve with crispy flour tortilla and plantain chips.

Additional Dipping Choices:

Strawberries, large perfect raspberries or boysenberries, baby bananas, fresh fig halves, white nectarines, apricots... Let what's fresh in the market – and your imagination – be your guide.

Note: To intensify the orange flavor, put 1/4 cup of orange juice in a small saucepan and reduce it to a tablespoon over medium-high heat.



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Related Articles:
How to Make Chocolate Fondue
What is a Pound Cake?
Keeping Cakes Fresh
Not Overbaking a Cake
Fixing an Underbaked/Underdone Cake
Related Recipes:
Poached Pears with Chocolate Fondue
A Non-Alcoholic Fondue
Traditional Pound Cake Recipe
Modern-Day High-Ratio Pound Cake Recipe
Classic Devil's Food Cake
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