Though family recipes are treasured year-round, there’s a little something extra about the ones we associate with the holidays. Whether it’s your aunt’s killer Christmas morning sweet rolls, or those perfect potatoes with the secret ingredient that Grandma won’t give up, food is, naturally, a marquee item at the holidays. Our Creative Director, Holly Hollon, has fond memories of a Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake her mother makes every year. Artistic talent runs in the family: Holly’s mother, Gabriele Cook, was a graphic designer for Southern Living, and, like many of our mothers, has baked from their recipes for years. We here at Dogwood Hill Collective are in love with the decadent, simple cake from the Southern Living team, and we’re happy to share it with you. Maybe, like in Holly’s family, it will become one of your holiday must-haves.

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Prep:  15 min.
Cook:  1 hr., 5 min.
Other:  15 min.

Ice cream and warm ganache elevate this cake to the ultradessert category.

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar
Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below)
Vanilla ice cream
Garnishes: fresh strawberries, lavender sprigs

Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 ½ minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until well blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla.      

Pour batter into a greased and floured (cocoa) 10-inch tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Serve with Chocolate Ganache and ice cream.

Garnish, if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Chocolate Ganache

Prep: 10 min.
Other: 30 min.

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter

Microwave chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2-quart glass bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 ½ to 3 minutes or until morsels begin to melt. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter and let stand 30 minutes. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes.

Yield: 1 ½ cups

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