With a welcome touch of cool air descending over the city, I decided I ought to bake a cake. One of the first things to catch my eye in the newly-published September issue of Martha Stewart Living was the triple-layer pound cake in the Everyday Food section, on page 82. I've always been a pound cake aficionado. I have fond memories of my mom making it on grey Sundays and then serving it to us warm with just a slight drizzle of maple syrup on top: we are Canadians, after all.
For this recipe, give yourself ample time to prepare the ingredients, since they all have to be at room temperature. The butter must be cubed and the chocolate must be melted and cooled ahead of time.
THREE-LAYER POUND CAKE
It's the delicious the day of - or wrap slices individually in plastic and freeze in bags for up to three months.
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
3 large eggs, room temperature, whisked
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus two tablespoons of sugar
1 3/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
3 tablespoons of Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, beat together sugar, flower, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Continue beating while adding butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add half the milk mixture; beat on medium-high until fluffy, about one minute. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
2. In another large bowl, whisk two tablespoons of cocoa into the melted chocolate. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the batter. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Whisk remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder into another 1 1/2 cups of batter in bowl; spoon over darker layer and smooth the top. Spoon in remaining white batter and smooth top.
3. Bake until a test inserted into the center comes out clean, about one hour and thirty minutes. (If top is browning too quickly, tent with foil). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely, about two hours.
Serves 8 to 10.