Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Double chocolate espresso pound cake with rose-scented cream cheese frosting



After Christmas, New Years, and the December holidays are over, I'm always spending January counting down the days to Valentine's. Sure, there are lots of people who grumble about Valentine's Day, citing that it's become this Hallmark holiday, but I still maintain a very romantic notion about it and most other holidays (ah, romantic in the 'idealization' sense).  After all, life's too short not to be celebrating the happy things in it! and I'm a firm believer that we should celebrate everything we love on Valentine's Day, not just significant others.  (I'm such a holder of this philosophy that I think, the dork I am, that I even wrote an essay arguing such in eighth grade.)  Finally, when it comes down to it, through all of that lovey-dovey hubbub, Valentine's Day is the holiday of desserts, so what's not to love?


This double chocolate espresso pound cake with rose-scented cream cheese frosting is one of the desserts on my Valentine's Day radar this year.  The combination of rose and chocolate is just so classic that I can't ever really escape it, especially ever since watching Like Water for Chocolate.  The key here balancing the light sweet scent of the rose in the cream cheese frosting with the robust dark chocolate espresso pound cake underneath--my friend who tried the cake called it the perfect "breakfast cupcake," given how dense and buttery but not-too-sweet the cake is.  Oh, and why are these called "double chocolate"?  Because they also have a healthy handful of bittersweet chocolate chips thrown in to the mix.  Despite what Hallmark says, really Valentine's Day is about celebrating chocolate.  (Though I don't doubt for a second that there's a Hallmark card out there that says just that!)


So here's the countdown: 19 days left until Valentine's Day, the holiday of desserts!  What are you making to celebrate what you love?


Read on for recipe...


Double chocolate (espresso) pound cake
adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible
makes 6-7 large cupcakes, more if using regular-sized cupcake liners

2 Tbspn Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 Tbspn + 1 1/2 tspn black cocoa powder (or substitute with Dutch-processed cocoa)
1 tspn instant coffee powder or espresso powder
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (125 gr) AP flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tbspn (175 gr) granulated sugar
3/4 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
13 Tbspn (184 gr) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk to combine the cocoa powders, coffee powder, and boiling water. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, whisk in the vanilla and eggs until combined and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
5. Add half of the chocolate mixture and the softened butter to the flour. Mix on low until the flour is moistened and then increase speed to medium and beat for one minute to aerate.
6. Add the remaining chocolate mixture to the batter in two additions, beating for twenty seconds after each addition. Finally, beat in the chocolate chips.
7. Divide the batter amongst the paper cupcake molds, filling each about 3/4 of the way.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


Rose-scented cream cheese frosting
adapted from Magnolia Bakery

1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 tspn rosewater
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
8 oz. cream cheese, cold
1 drop pink gel food coloring

1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla extract and rosewater and mix until combined.
3. Beat in the sifted powdered sugar.
4. Gradually add small chunks of the cold cream cheese, beating well after each addition. Mix in the food coloring at the end.
5. Use to pipe onto cupcakes immediately.  Top with shaved dark chocolate.

NOTE: I used a large closed-star tip for the frosting in these photos.



Enjoy!

58 comments:

  1. Ohhh Steph. It's just so gorgeous. The photo you posted on twitter is just stunning. Roses are (I am so predictable and dull) pretty much my favourite flowers.

    I don't really do Valentines with my boyfriend but I'll celebrate with the girls by making something. I was given some heart shaped tart tins for christmas which will probably come in handy...

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  2. My gosh, this looks sooo soooo amazing. Really, you outdo yourself everytime with recipes as well as photos. Bookmarked this as well as practically everything else from your site!

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  3. Stunning!!!..How beautiful..I am short of words!

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  4. they are like piece of art, I wouldn't dare to eat them!

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  5. Meravigliosa è come una favola , ciao

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  6. My gosh, LOVE love LOVE LOVEEEEE all the photographs! U made me so happy with all your warm n sexy shots Stephanie that I just couldn't wait to go through the recipe n then post a comment! So now going back to see the recipe :-)
    Gorgeous post :-)

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  7. Love everything about this post! I wanna give u an award for it :D

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  8. Such lovely photographs to go along with a delicious dessert! I can't wait for more pink, love-inspired desserts, bring 'em on!

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  9. GORGEOUS! That last shot with the cake as a flower is so creative. Wonderful stuff!

    I am also really excited to bake for Valentine's day this year. I'm hoping to do a series - I have a few specific things on my mind ;)

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  10. I only have one thing to say: WOW!

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  11. I think your photography is absolutely beautiful, and your desserts are scrumptious. I always look forward to reading all of your new posts, as I love your blog. Keep up the awesome blogging!

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  12. Breathtaking!! I mean aside from the brilliant combination of chocolate and rose, which I love!, this is just surreal!

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  13. so pretty! i really want to try that frosting...actually the entire combo, great for vday!!

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  14. Wow, these are really lovely. Not only does the cake look delicious but your photos are stunning. I haven't really decided what to make yet.

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  15. absolutely gorgeous! and perfect for v-day...or any day for that matter.

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  16. Oh Steph, you already know how much I love the last shot and I'm really enjoying the first as well. I've never tried rose with chocolate and I think the bitterness of the second would pair so nicely with the first. Romantic but with an edge. I'm hoping to make heart-shaped eclairs for my bf, but I have an exam AND may have jury duty that day so we'll probably wait for the weekend.

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  17. The photographs are STUNNING! *-* And of course, the desserts as usual look amazing!

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  18. Gorgeous photos... I love the last picture that looks like a rose!

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  19. Hey I am impressed with this rose and your pics are stunning

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  20. Beautiful! Never thought to try rose with Chocolate but it looks delicious

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  21. I love rose water as much as I love orange blossom water. I could eat a dozen of those. Nice piping, btw! :)

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  22. exquisite! can't believe the flowers!

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  23. I have just stumbled across your blog and I am so so so so overjoyed by your creations! Pure genius.

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  24. TREMENDO! BARVARO! EXTRAORDINARIO! MAGNIFICO!
    Gourmenderies

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  25. Gorgeous! What are the girls and I making for "papi" to celebrate Valentines day? THIS! Amazing photos. I know ours won't look as beautiful but hopefully will taste just as delicious.

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  26. They are so beautiful! would you mind sharing what tip you used to achieve the rose frosting? Thanks!

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  27. I second Monique. I would love a tip for the rose frosting effect! Just found your blog and absolutely adore it.

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  28. My jaw just dropped WIDE OPEN!! Not only are these desserts BUT great art pieces! Beautiful work :)

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  29. I love the picture with the stem! So pretty!

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  30. i would love you to deliver vegan versions of that to me on the 14th --- or any (every!) day.

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  31. Not only does it sound a-mazing, the photos are to die for! So beautiful.

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  32. what a beautiful looking treat. food tastes 50% times better when it looks so stunning, you did an amazing job! adore the rose icing

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  33. Oh my gosh! Absolutely beautiful! Could you email me what tip you used?
    cytjessica@aol.com
    Thanks so much!!
    Jess

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  34. Hi all,

    Thank you all so much for your comments! Several people have asked what piping tip I used for the cupcakes: I used a large closed-star tip.

    --Stephanie

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  35. Very tempting - and I'm writing as someone who is not very convinced of the whole idea of frosted cakes... but these would seriously tempt me!

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  36. This is GORGEOUS!!
    I love LOVE it!!

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  37. These are beautiful. What a wonderful outlook on Valentine's Day! Perfect perspective for a single gal like me.

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  38. So beautiful... they really do look like roses, amazing! Also, I like the idea of celebrating everything we love... I was never too keen on valentines day, but that makes it seem more appealing!

    What to make for valentines day... hmm...

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  39. Beautiful photos!!! Looks like a real one.

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  40. Great photos! I like the waffle photo on flickr too - makes me hungry!

    p.s. the pie plate is a-mazing, but I don't have a pic of what I made b/c I (stupidly) cut myself while doing it and had to go to the er to get stitches = no photos :(

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  41. Brilliant Brilliant photos...i love the last one ;-)

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  42. That last photo, with the 'rose' is just beautiful. What a creative idea!

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. I love the picture with the stem! So pretty!

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  45. Gorgeous! What are the girls and I making for "papi" to celebrate Valentines day? THIS! Amazing photos. I know ours won't look as beautiful but hopefully will taste just as delicious.

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  46. I have just stumbled across your blog and I am so so so so overjoyed by your creations! Pure genius.

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  47. I love rose water as much as I love orange blossom water. I could eat a dozen of those. Nice piping, btw! :)

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  48. Oh Steph, you already know how much I love the last shot and I'm really enjoying the first as well. I've never tried rose with chocolate and I think the bitterness of the second would pair so nicely with the first. Romantic but with an edge. I'm hoping to make heart-shaped eclairs for my bf, but I have an exam AND may have jury duty that day so we'll probably wait for the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Such lovely photographs to go along with a delicious dessert! I can't wait for more pink, love-inspired desserts, bring 'em on!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Meravigliosa è come una favola , ciao

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ohhh Steph. It's just so gorgeous. The photo you posted on twitter is just stunning. Roses are (I am so predictable and dull) pretty much my favourite flowers.

    I don't really do Valentines with my boyfriend but I'll celebrate with the girls by making something. I was given some heart shaped tart tins for christmas which will probably come in handy...

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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