There have been so many birthdays in my social circle recently - which means there has been a lot of baking going on. Not that I ever actually need an excuse to bake, but it feels better to make something for a big group of people - that way the goods don't sit on my counter begging me to take another piece.
This past weekend was my roommate Weasel's birthday, and today was the first day of classes, so the past few days have been full of cooking and lounging - cramming in as much downtime before we all have to get back to the grind. We had a nice party on Sunday night, and I made a really tasty carrot cake that was devoured before I could snap photos, but you can see the process and result of another dessert - featuring my new pan from the Goodwill. I love the Goodwill cooking section. Second-hand baking tools, pans, and stock pots are always good buys - and it often means I can get quality, made-to-last bakeware and kitchen tools for next to nothing. Most of my cake pans, bread pans, muffin tins, and random kitchen appliances were purchased second hand, and they've served me very well. Yet another way to live sustainably - don't buy new what you can buy used!
This Chocolate Blackberry Pound Cake was inspired by a beautiful pint of big, juicy blackberries from the farmers' market. The day I purchased them, they were a little less sweet than I like them, but by the time I got around to using them in the kitchen, they were perfectly ripe and ready to pair up with every berry's best friend - dark chocolate.
I used Alton Brown's Chocolate Pound Cake recipe for the base of this yummy dessert, adding the big blackberries and chocolate shavings to the batter after mixing. The berries stayed really juicy and were a really great addition to the dense cake.
I recommend REALLY flouring the pan - or using special bakers non-stick spray - because I had a bit of difficulty getting the finished cake to come out smoothly. To mask any stray bumps or holes, I made a chocolate glaze with powdered sugar, cocoa, and butter to drizzle over the top.
Yum! My friends couldn't stop eating this, which is definitely a good thing, because if it was still around I might be in trouble.
Hold on to these last weeks of summer - go out and get the freshest of the best the season has to offer - soon the berries will be gone and we'll be swimming in apples, winter squash, and dark greens.... which actually sounds pretty good!
This is a submission to Monthly Mingle - August 2008 Fruit & Chocolate challenge, hosted by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?