Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Episode 3: Cookbooks & Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

So, I’ve been looking at the bookcase in my kitchen.  It’s the same bookcase that was in my bedroom when I was in junior high except now instead of the Little House books, Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy, a bunch of Judy Blume books and a stack of “Tiger Beat” magazines, it’s filled with cookbooks.  And I mean that – filled.  There’s probably close to 130 or so if you include the booklets.

Some were a part of my kitchen before my kitchen was even mine. One I can’t even read because it’s not in English.  Some come from products – Eagle Brand, Kahlua, Lea & Perrins.  Some were compiled by historic sites, churches or towns to commemorate a bicentennial or other special occasion.  German food is represented.  So are Hungarian food, Italian food and Chinese food.  I have cookbooks from inns and cooking schools.  I can cook with Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, the Chippendales or the Mafia and even take a peek at how Ben & Jerry made my favorite (and now discontinued) flavor.  I even have a cookbook I won by throwing a tomahawk.

I have a book dedicated to pies, cobblers & crisps.  Books for fondues, cookies and green tomatoes.  I have 800 pages of Jacques Pépin teaching some primo kitchen techniques.  I have LaRousse Gastronomique – a glorious 1,300 page encyclopedia of gastronomy.  And if I really want to, in a matter of seconds, I can put my hands on a recipe for parsnip wine or even jellied moose nose.  (Yes…you read that right…jellied moose nose.)  And that’s not even counting all the recipes cards or the hundreds of recipes I have clipped from Family Circle, Women’s Day, Yankee & Bon Appetit.

So let me tell ya what I’m gonna do – every week I’m going to try 3 new recipes.  (Shhhh this week is only 2)  An entrée, a side and a dessert.  Keepers get a card and go into the recipe box.  Stinkers will be revealed and noted as such.  Of course, I’m not necessarily going to follow the recipes exactly.  I mean…this is me we’re talking about.  LOL  But fear not!  When I’m blogging about them, I’ll be sure to tell you what the recipe said and what I ended up doing if it was something different. 

First up – a recipe I clipped from a Family Circle, I believe.  It’s Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.  Now, I have no scale in my kitchen, so I have no idea what 3 ½ cups of flour weighs…or what 4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks weighs.  And I’m really not sure when pound cake stopped containing a pound of butter, exactly…maybe it was when the half gallons of ice cream lost that pint and became a quart and a half…I don’t know.  But I know this – this recipe is totally going into the recipe box cuz it’s a damn badass cake!    I made it as is and it’s fabulous!  And for a little extra indulgence, I had a slice with a schmear of cream cheese.  TO DIE FOR!!  I’m also thinking it’d be tasty with white chips and pistachios….

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

  • 3-½ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting pans)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°.  Coat two 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Dust with flour; shake out excess & set pans aside.

Stir together flour & salt; set aside.  In small bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks & vanilla; set aside.

Cream butter & sugar together on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium & gradually pour in the egg mixture.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture.  Beat until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter between pans & smooth tops.  Bake at 325° for 1 hour & 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on rack.

Rock on!  Peace.  Out.