Chocolate espresso pound cake

You know those stupid jokes that start with "how many ______ does it take to change a light bulb?" Yeah. I officially hate those jokes.

It took me months to change four lightbulbs that progressively burned out. MONTHS! One burned out in September, but because my ceilings are almost 10 feet off the ground, I clearly needed more than a measly two-step ladder to get to it. I could really use some chocolate....

By the time I got my hands on a ladder, two more had burned out.

That's okay: I have a tall ladder to get to them!

But then, I couldn't get the (insert swear word here) light bulbs out of their sockets! Seriously? SERIOUSLY! Somebody get me some cake!

It took several attempts, two witnesses to my plight, two ladders, a suction cup, and two trips to Home Depot for me to get them out. At that point, there were four to change. One Home Depot worker suggested that I simply smash them out of their sockets. Really? Is that your best answer dude? And if you want me to smash them, you should probably try and sell me some protective gear so that I don't get glass in my eye and go blind! I don't think my insurance will cover the injuries that I will suffer while smashing light bulbs like an idiot.

It turns out that all I had to do was twist them because they weren't the pluggy-kind of bulb, but rather a plug-and-twist-kind. I didn't even know those existed! Did you? You'd think that during my two trips to Home Depot, somebody there would have mentioned that maybe I have the "other" type of bulb.

Frustrating beyond belief for a person who works hard to fix things herself. I'm pretty stubborn that way. Plus, I don't have a partner to fix things for me. That's okay. I can change my light bulbs on my own (with my mom spotting me so that I don't fall off the ladder), even if it might take me a ridiculous amount of blood, sweat, and tears.

This loaf is the opposite of frustrating. The batter comes together pretty quickly. The mise en place is probably the most time-consuming part. I can handle a little scooping and measuring in a well-lit kitchen. The original recipe is from Bon Appétit's March 2011 issue (page 99?100). I added cocoa powder to the recipe because, after all the light bulb shenanigans, I really needed a hit of cocoa. I omitted the nuts and fruits called for because I didn't want anything to come between me and the cocoa. The cake is deeply chocolaty and will satisfy a chocolate craving that arises while changing light bulbs that refuse to be changed. The espresso and spices will renew the spring in your step, and motivate you to face a few more challenges.

Chocolate espresso pound cake

Yields one loaf

Serves 1 in the event that you can't change a light bulb

130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
60 grams (1/2 cup) sifted cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the loaf pan
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
225 grams (1 cup butter), room temperature
168 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
90 grams (1/2 cup) golden brown sugar
1 tbsp espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment, then grease and dust with cocoa powder.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sifted cocoa, spices, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, and espresso powder until it is nice and smooth.
Gradually add in the egg/vanilla mixture. Scrape the bowl as needed with a spatula.
Gradually add in the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Drop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake for 1 hour?1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from the oven
Let the loaf cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.

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