Are you wondering where I've been? All 5 of my readers, have you? Well, even if you haven't, I'm going to tell you. I just got back for Rajasthan, a state in India, where I had gone for a vacation with my college, that has shown me how diverse India really is. Living in Bombay, a metro city, I always used to think that India's just got a bad name for chauvinism and abolished practices, and I would never see, let alone experience such things. It's just a things for stories, something that used to happen in the past. But going there made me realise how naive I was, and how caged my thinking has been. As a Bombay girl, it was an extremely weird situation, dealing with the natives of Rajashtan. All those stories, and TV shows are true! Some of the men there literally ignore women. I experienced people who wouldn't reply to me, who would pass lewd comments because we were 'obscenely' dressed, and wouldn't want girls to stay awake past midnight, and associating with boys in the night was unheard of!!! It was truly an enlightening experience, and ofcourse, being with my college mates, we couldn't accept what was happening at first, but then we accepted our fate, because we knew we were on a trip to experience that culture, their kind of living, so we couldn't really complain.
Anyway, one thing they couldn't stop me from doing was baking! In fact, it must have given them a weird sense of satisfaction, since I was in the kitchen, where 'women belong'! I baked up a storm, because I had some 100 people travelling me, which meant enough hungry mouths for me to bake whatever I wanted! I made this chocolate chip pound cake from Dorie's great book, where it's called Perfection Pound Cake. It was absolutely delicious, perfectly sweet and spongey, with the chocolate adding a whole other level to it. Dorie was right, the cake is Perfection!
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
2 cups [240 g] all-purpose flour (or 2-1/4 cups cake flour) - I used AP
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks [8 ounces/226 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup [240 g] sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate [you could use chips, too]
- Preheat oven to 325 F [160 C]. Grease and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan. I used two half loaf pans, just because that was what I had on hand.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs one a time, beating between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the butter mixture, beating just until incorporated, at a low speed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, and top with the chopped chocolate. This gives the loaf a great look and taste.
- Bake cake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry. Be sure to check around the 45 minute mark, and add a foil tent if you feel the top is browning too much.
- Cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes, after which you can take the cake out of the pan. Too soon, and the cake will crumble all over you!