Saturday, April 09, 2011

Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Chocolate Chips

We’re already 9 days into April and I am just now posting something. My apologies, dear readers. I got through April Fool’s Day with minimal occurrences (in fact, most of my exposure to tomfoolery was informing Robbie of the many times he was tricked without knowing it . . . bless his heart . . . really Robbie? You thought Wake Forest was bringing Martin Scorsese to campus to speak to the Law School?). Nevertheless, I must have jinxed myself because, oh my, what a week I had. You see, I tend to surround myself with routine for the simple reason that I appreciate boringness. I like the humdrum, daily pattern of life. I do not like when that is messed up. And this week it was.

But you know what wasn’t messed up? This pound cake. I love it when you read a recipe and you realize that you have every ingredient on the list. That is such a good feeling because you know that you will be enjoying the benefits of your labor sooner than if you had to make a list, go to the store on a Saturday, return home, unload your groceries, recover from the exertion required to take a trip to the store on a Saturday, and then, finally, gather the energy to make the recipe. (I realize there are only six ingredients listed with this recipe but still, work with me here, don’t make me add you to my irritations-in-life this week.)

This recipe comes from Flo Braker. (With a name like that she was destined to be a baker. It screams homemade, domestic, and awesome mom all at the same time. ) She has been the baking columnist (that’s what I want to be when I grow up too) for the San Francisco Chronicle since the late 1980s and her books are inspiring. Flavor combinations that you have never thought of suddenly seem so obvious and complex desserts become utterly attainable. I highly recommend baking one of her recipes. Especially after a week like mine. It will make you remember that even if things go awry during the week, you can spend a couple of hours measuring ingredients and following directions and things will turn out just delicious.

Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Chocolate Chips
Adapted From Baking for All Occasions with chocolate chip input from Piece of Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
5 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ - 1 cup chocolate chips of the semi-sweet variety

Butter and flour a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-low peed until smooth (about 1 minute). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On medium speed, add the sugar in a steady stream and beat until the mixture is light, continuing to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter and beat until fluffy and well incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Maintaining the same speed, add the eggs, bit by bit, beating each addition until incorporated. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour in two additions, mixing after each addition until combined. Using a wooden spoon, fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly.

Bake the cake until golden brown and a round wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. I baked mine for 65 minutes and the outside was definitely done (almost burnt at the ends) but still slightly sad (at least that’s what my family calls uncooked middles in a cake). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

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