Sign of the Season

Monday, I was helping a friend who had the misfortune to be found by a ravenous army of ants in search of cinnamon buns (they had good taste!).  When she said ‘at least it’s not mice’, I chuckled and heartily agreed.  Then I came home and baked more cinnamon muffins and this chocolate cake for our evening guests. Tuesday morning, you guessed it, I found the unmistakable evidence of rodents in my kitchen. *sigh*

Every year, spring and fall, we have a few that come in the crawl space, shimmy up the gas line to the back of the stove (this, in spite of the steel wool we filled the space with), and think they have found the mother lode of winter food storage right in my kitchen. Mind you, we have traps set in the garage as usual, which has been enough to keep them out of the kitchen the last couple of years, and we have The Cat, which you might think could be a deterrent . . . or that maybe he would actually catch the offending beasts. But, no.  No.  I dub thee ‘Useless, Lazy Cat’.  Meow. (Which, when translated, means, “whatever.  Are you filling the dish with ‘veal and gravy’ and cleaning the litter box or not?”)

So, there has been no baking since Monday.  I cleaned and disinfected, and, so far, three mice have met their demise, to the dismay of our sweet animal lover, Tartlet 2.   She blinks at me with tears, “But how would you like to be killed? He’s just looking for food! He’s just innocent!”  Well, that’s where you are wrong, dear. If he had looked for food outside, where mice are supposed to live, he would have been fine. But he entered MY territory and I will pardon no rodent. I’m cold and heartless that way.

Well, if my mentioning rodents in my kitchen didn’t completely turn you off food, there’s some ‘chocolate pound cake’ to be had.  I bought some milk chocolate chips for something a couple of months ago and had the remainder of the bag in the cabinet (and rodent-free, I will add) and the recipe on the back of the bag for a milk chocolate pound cake sounded intriguing.  Since I had already used part of the bag and didn’t want to buy another, I melted the milk chocolate for the cake and, in place of the other half of the bag to be added whole to the cake, I used a cup of mini semi-sweet chips.  Also, I had some almonds that needed to be used so I used them in place of the pecans and I have to tell you that I think the cake would have been much better with pecans. I thought about using a dark chocolate glaze but didn’t want to overpower the mild chocolate flavor so opted for caramel sauce, instead. That was a good move.

While it is a reasonably good cake, I would much prefer a dark, dense chocolate cake. Still, if you like chocolate, but aren’t enamored with dark chocolate, this cake may be just what you are looking for. I think a little whipped cream would have helped draw out the chocolate flavor too.  I’m giving you the original recipe below.

Milk Chocolate Chip Pecan Pound Cake (from Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chip bag)

2 c. Hershey’s milk chocolate chips, divided
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs

2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. Hershey’s cocoa
1/4 t. baking soda
dash salt

1 c. buttermilk or sour milk

3/4 c. Hershey’s syrup
2 t. vanilla extract

1 c. chopped pecans

powdered sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Place 1 c. milk chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted when stirred.

Beat butter in large bowl until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed of mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate; beat until blended.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to chocolate mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until blended. Add syrup and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in remaining milk chocolate chips and pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.


One Response

  1. That cake looks great. I love different chocolate cake recipes. This is one I would love to try…..

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