I chose a chocolate pound cake. I wanted something simple, a sort of "dump and stir" kind of recipe. I didn't want complications or the need for multiple layers or multipe add-ins. I wanted something that would travel well as I was invited to a barbecue.
The trouble started when I neglected to double-check the recipe when I shopped for ingredients. It wasn't until I started to actually bake the cake that I realized I didn't have everything I needed.
First I needed superfine sugar. I had about a cup's worth in the cupboard, but I needed three times that amount. I read many years ago that whizzing your regular sugar in the food processor could substitute for superfine sugar, so I did that.
Then I realized I needed a vanilla bean. The recipe called for vanilla extract and a scraped vanilla bean. Once again, my chocolate treat is missing vanilla. I looked for something flavorful to boost the chocolate. I thought about Ina Garten's love of adding coffee. I had none (which was odd because I usually keep instant coffee granules around for baking). I was hoping I might have some Kahlua stashed away in the liquor cabinet - no dice. I opted for a small amount of rum.
The recipe said to line the pan with paper. I couldn't figure out how to line a Bundt pan with paper. It gets all wrinkly and crinkly. I decided to just grease and flour the pan really well and hope for the best.
As far as Bundt cakes go, this one rose really nicely and filled the pan. It was not the skimpy Bundt cake I so detest and fear. Unfortunately, it did stick a little in some spots. I did what I could to cover it up by making some chocolate royal icing and covering those patches up. Unfortunately, I poured the milk in too quickly and the glaze was too thin. I didn't have enough powdered sugar to thicken it back up. When I attempted to pour the stuff onto the cake, it just dripped right off. It made for some nice leakage during transport as well.
Yokelson is so incredibly precise with cooking directions. In her recipes, you don't just cream butter until it's fluffy. You cream it for 3 minutes. She has very precise times for every ingredient you add to the mixing bowl. It makes a real difference in the texture of the batter.
The cake, despite the holes and drips came out pretty well. It had a cup of cocoa in it and so was very chocolately. The precise mixing times really did make for a nicely-texture cake with a very fine crumb.
Email me for the recipe if it looks good to you.