My husband's birthday was last month, and he's just not really great about telling me what he really wants. He did request Beef Bourguignon for supper, but as for cake, I knew that if left to his own devices, he'd just ask for a giant chocolate chip cookie. Nothing against cookie cakes, but they just don't work great with candles, nor do they scream "Happy Birthday!" the way a cake and ice cream do. I'd made an original plan for a particular cake and homemade ice cream that I promise I'll share with you another time, but when I discovered some leftover mascarpone cheese in the fridge that needed to be used, I changed tack. The lovely velvety chocolate of this pound cake pairs beautifully with the Pistachio Semifreddo I made as a nod to a fond memory along with the cake. And the kahlua-chocolate glaze adds just the right depth of flavor to make your palate sing! In the end, it was a hit!
butter and flour (or Baker's Joy) for the pan
1 (16-ounce) boxed pound cake mix, such as Betty Crocker
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons kahlua
water, as needed
For the cake, place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a Bundt pan (or pan of your choice, but note that you'll need to adjust the baking times based on the size of your pan).
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and remaining 7 ingredients, and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until smooth and thick.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes (follow the directions on the cake mix box for the pan you're using), or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and invert onto a rack to cool completely, about an hour.
For the glaze, combine the sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and kahlua and whisk, adding water as necessary to achieve a thick, glossy glaze. Spoon over the cake and serve.
Recipe adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis.