If you’ve been reading this site for any amount of time, you know that I have a pantheon of baking and cooking goddesses. These are women who I admire like crazy and whose work I’ve followed for years. Of course, one of my all-time baking goddesses is Dorie Greenspan. I have every book she’s written and I respect her immensely. Her baking books are in constant rotation in my house.
Imagine my joy in November when I was invited to a gathering in honor of Dorie! She was in Seattle for the book tour of her new cookbook, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours. This is a fabulous and beautiful book. NPR, when commenting on it in their list of Best Cookbooks of 2010, asked:
“Is it fair for a gifted baker to also be a really, really good cook? I thought there were rules about this sort of thing. Dorie Greenspan has written one brilliant baking book after another—but now, it turns out, she’s been secretly batting for the other team, too.”
So, yes: she is a fab cook in addition to being a fab baker–but did anyone ever doubt that?
The gathering was organized by my pal Myra,who graciously invited Dorie to her home and invited folks from the Seattle food scene to eat, drink, and hang out with Dorie. Here’s me and Dorie (squeee!)
I so enjoyed meeting her. She is kind, funny, humble, and full of life. She came with her wonderful husband, Michael. They both hung out with everyone, chatted, ate, and had fun. They were just foodies among other foodies. It was a lovely evening! I try very hard not to act like a crazy fan when I meet my baking goddesses, and I have to say that Dorie was so very nice that we were all completely at ease. This meant I didn’t embarrass myself by jumping up and down and cheering for her. Also, I didn’t drool all over myself or anything. So that was good. I did manage to get a streak of chocolate down my sleeve, as you can see in the photo. I like to think of that as my baker’s badge of honor.
Of course, we all brought food made with recipes from Dorie’s books. I decided to bring the Chocolate Pound Cake from her Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops. This is one of my favorite baking cookbooks of all time. It’s a gem of a book. It has stories about various pastry shops in Paris, as well as representative recipes from each shop. I love the recipes–I’ve adapted the classic madeleine recipe earlier on this site. On top of everything else, the font of the recipe titles is the same one that dAhub and I used on our wedding invitations! Quelle coincidence!
So yes, I chose the Chocolate Pound Cake. It’s a lovely, lovely recipe. Simple to make, deceptively elegant, always delicious. You really can’t go wrong with it. You can eat it like my daughter does, as an after-school snack. You can eat it like I do, with my tea. Or you can dress it up, like I did for Dorie, and serve it as a dessert on a pretty plate with unsweetened whipped cream to dollop upon it. Really, it’s one of my go-to recipes. Adapting it to gluten-free was my way to say thank you to Dorie for all she’s done for us bakers–thank you, Dorie!
This recipe was originally written to be baked in 4 mini loaf pans. I bake it in a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan and have adapted the baking time to accommodate this.
Chocolate Pound Cake (Quartre-Quarts au Chocolate), Gluten-Free
-adapted from Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops, by Dorie Greenspan
-stand mixer is very helpful, but a hand mixer will do
-9″x5″x3″ loaf pan
4 oz (115 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 1/4 cups (175 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks; 5 oz; 140 g) unsalted butter (or butter substitute)
1 cup (180 g) light or dark brown sugar, packed (I like dark)
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 extra large egg yolk at room temperature
1/3 cup (85 g) crème fraiche , sour cream, heavy cream, or plain yogurt (or non-dairy substitute)
extra melted butter and tapioca flour for the pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour your loaf pan with the extra butter and tapioca flour.
Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Watch carefully–make sure it doesn’t burn. Just before it’s all melted, remove from heat.
In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat more–be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat for a minute more. The mixture will look a bit curdled–this is OK, it will come together when you add the dry ingredients. Add the cream and then the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Scrape into prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour–or until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. This cake goes from everyday to elegant when it’s served with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.
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