Dedicated bakers must be competent and inventive salvage artists. If we weren't, we'd likely end up throwing away a considerable amount of food -- some of it perfectly edible, though less than absolutely stellar. Not every recipe goes quite according to plan, as we all know, so it's comforting when an inspired contingency plan magically presents itself.
The domestic angst that invariably accompanies the freakish result of a recipe gone wrong can really ruin a girl's afternoon, don't you think? The dessert pictured above represents triumph over adversity or, if that's too strong a statement, at least the humble attempt to salvage a pound cake that turned out to be simply too dry and, thus, not as appealing as I'd hoped. (And it was a pound cake with so much promise . . . so much promise. Sighhh.)
With or without a dry cake, though, this is a yummy dessert. I'd recommend you start with your favorite plain pound cake recipe (I recommend the recipe I used for my very first blog post; it's an excellent pound cake and I've made it many times). When the batter is ready, remove one third of it into a separate bowl. Into that one third add two ounces of melted dark chocolate, and two tablespoons of strong brewed coffee into which has been dissolved two teaspoons of instant coffee. Stir that up completely. Now, pour 2/3 of a cup of chopped dark chocolate into your white batter and stir to combine. Into the 1/3 of mocha flavored batter, stir 1/3 of a cup of chopped dark chocolate. Take your greased and floured (or baking-sprayed) pan, and spread one third of the white batter evenly in the bottom.
Cover that with all of the mocha batter. Take something skinny, like a skewer, and gently run it through the batter to introduce a nice marble effect.
Cover that with the remaining one third of white batter, smoothing it out with a spatula or the back of a large spoon.
Bake your pound cake per your recipe's instructions.
When it's done, if you like, glaze it with a shiny chocolate ganache (heat about a half cup of heavy cream, just barely to a simmer; take it off the heat and pour it into a bowl of about 4 oz. of chopped chocolate; let that sit for a minute, then stir slowly until it's all mixed--you've just made a basic ganache! Use more chocolate to make it thicker, a bit more very warm cream if it's too thick).
Enjoy that cake, but when the last few slices are still on the cake plate and it seems they are beginning to languish, confiscate them! Cut them up into bite size pieces. Take your trifle dishes and spoon some whipped cream into the bottom of each one. Layer the squares of cake onto that. Now, using a regular spoon, liberally dribble Kahlua onto all those cake pieces, whether they started out dry or not! Cover that Kahlua-soaked cake layer with more whipped cream. Repeat with cake, Kahlua, and whipped cream, and repeat again if you like. Garnish your dessert with a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans.
There. No muss, no fuss and a handsome trifle to boot. Be sure you've got a few sweet loving, coffee loving guests around to appreciate your creation. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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