Why the apostrophe around the word ‘pound?’ Because while this little baby may look like a traditional pound cake, it only contains 1 cup of ricotta and 2 tablespoons of softened butter instead of the pound of butter that a traditional pound cake calls for. Joined by three eggs and the decadent richness of melted chocolate, it remains one of the most nourishing and satiating desserts I make.
I pack it as a snack for my youngest, because it’s not just something sweet that she’ll enjoy eating – though that helps! – but also because it contains enough protein to sustain her until lunchtime.
BTW, I had a book club meeting and decided to make 2 pound cakes, so I doubled the recipe. But what follows below will give you just one.
Finally, it’s a no-hassle type of dessert because you don’t need to get your electric whips out. You don’t even need to dirty your KitchenAid for the job. All you need is a little bowl to melt the chocolate and a large one to mix everything in. Not too shabby for those times that require us, despite a gnawing desire to eat something sweetly dense and doughy, to be frugal with our time.
Plus, have I mentioned it contains lots of chocolate?
I recommend serving it with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream, as it softly brightens the moist chewiness of each chocolate-y bite.
making ricotta & milk chocolate pound cake
Melt 1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips in a double boiler.
Should you not have one (I don’t), just place a stainless steel or glass bowl over a small saucepan filled 1/3 with water. Bring water to a boil and stir occasionally until all the chocolate melts. Be sure to take the chocolate off the heat once it’s fully melted, as it will begin to dry and harden if it continues cooking. Set aside.
By the way, you can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips, but just add another ¼ cup of sugar to the batter, as semi-sweet chips contain more cocoa and less sugar.
As the chocolate chips melt, cut out 2 strips of parchment paper to line a loaf pan.
The first one will follow the length of the pan.
The second will follow the width.
Generously butter the parchment paper. Alternatively, generously butter just the loaf pan. Sift 1 tablespoon Hershey’s Cocoa Natural Unsweetened as evenly as possible along the bottom and all 4 sides of the pan.
Discard excess by shaking out the pan, upside down, over the kitchen sink.
Preheat the oven to 375F°.
Beat 1 cup of whole milk ricotta, 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 3 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar in a bowl until you have a smooth, fluffy mixture.
Add 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Mix until completely combined.
Incorporate the melted chocolate until you have a uniform mixture.
It will be quite thick and will give your arm quite the workout to combine.
Spoon into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the batter down with a spatula, pushing it into all the edges of the tin. Place pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 350ºF. Bake for 1 hour, but start checking it 50 minutes into its baking time. It will be ready when a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes before removing. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with some optional fresh whipped cream. Makes 10 servings.