One of my first cooking loves was baking. I grew up baking with my grandmothers and aunts, then moved on to baking on my own (with some supervision) using cookbooks for kids and then using boxed mixes (shudder!). There was a time in the middle, for about 10 years, where I did not bake much. There was college, then work and general growing up – Life happened. But once I started living alone in Gurgaon, I started cooking for myself a lot more. And the first things I bought for the kitchen were not pans and spatulas – but an oven and measuring cups 🙂
One of the best food memories I have of growing up was eating simple vanilla cake! Specifically pound cakes, tea cakes and loaves with a vanilla base. However, I somehow never got around to baking a pound cake until very recently. I was somewhat daunted by the task of baking something so close to my heart. When I decided to setup this blog, I knew I had to have a pound cake (or a few) in it. But, turns out it wasn’t that easy to bake a pound cake. Who would have thought? I had a fair few not-so-great outcomes. But after some trying and testing, I finally feel I’ve got it right! I’ve nailed the flavours I loved when I was a child and I feel that I can now confidently say I can bake a lovely pound cake 🙂
Instead of trying a simple vanilla pound cake, I chose to start with chocochip. A flavour that I love and which to me is so simple and comforting. The test batches were either too dense, or didn’t rise well or didn’t look right. They all tasted nice enough though. After a ton of research on the science of pound cakes and seeing waaaay too many pound cake recipes, I tested my recipe with a few tweaks. And Voila! A lovely, light, not too sweet, simple chocochip pound cake 😀 I did a happy dance in the kitchen, I swear I did!
It is called a pound cake because it is made with one pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. When I tried this, I found the cake too dense and flat. All my reading up indicated that liquid would help – so I added some milk to my batter. I also added some baking powder to help it rise. The result was just beautiful 🙂
Try it, I promise this won’t last long once baked 🙂
Chocochip Pound Cake
3/4 cup granulated sugar
100g butter (at room temperature)
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups all purpose flour (measured correctly using spoon and level method)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk (at room temperature)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 9 inch loaf pan with baking paper.
- Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer, till light and fluffy – around 3-5 minutes. This will help to add air to the batter, making the cake lighter.
- Add the sugar and mix till well combined, light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. It is important for these to be at room temperature so that they get incorporated into the batter well
- Mix in the vanilla extract
- Sift the baking powder and flour in a small bowl. Add the milk and flour+baking powder mixture alternately, starting and ending with flour. Make sure you mix till just combined. Over mixing will lead to extra gluten formation and result in a denser cake. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Transfer the batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Test that a toothpick comes out clean or that the cake springs back when touched.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then take it out and let it cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy 🙂