Friday, April 30, 2010

Orange Chocolate Chips Pound Cake

Last week-end I flew to Chicago to spend two days with a very dear friend of mine and her family. It was a wonderful week-end, packed with activities (sports, music, art, birthday party), interesting discussions and laughing moments shared with her and her four daughters. Her older one (8 years of age), S. is very much into cooking. She has her own recipes that she likes to make often: she had baked a cake before I arrived; she made a chicken roast (with garlic cloves and bacon slices), mashed potatoes and peas for her sisters on Saturday evening (while my friend, another friend of hers and I went for a delicious Ladies Dinner out: a treat!); she made pancakes with red coloring and cinnamon on Sunday!

It was wonderful to see S. so involved in the kitchen. In order to help expand her cahier de recettes, she helped me make Nutella sweet crêpes; I taught her how to “dress” (read: eat more veggies) her green peas a little by adding onions, carrots, and Italians seasoning; how to use warm milk instead of cold milk into her mashed potatoes (cold milk would cool down the potatoes too much and would compel you to reheat the puree which purists would not want you to do!), etc.

As we were pealing and cutting potatoes, I asked her why she liked cooking so much. “It’s magical”, she replied. “And why is that?”, I asked in return. “Because you take ingredients and you turn them into something delicious!”…..Isn’t she so right?

It’s always a mess inspiring to cook with children. It fosters their creativity while strengthening their rigor (for that, I think that a digital scale is MUCH better than cups and spoons that are too “bulk”; besides, it helps with calculus!). It helps them build confidence. It also helps them realize that a tomato sauce (or pancakes) can also be made from scratch and that they don’t need a pre-packaged mix (read: full of salt, white refined sugar, if not high fructose corn syrup). This, I am sure, will help them develop healthier eating habits from which they can only benefit all along.

My stay was too short to spend more time in the kitchen with S. (and her younger sister who, in turns, was also very interested in participating). There was a delicious orange cake (with icing) for us to eat over the week-end. It reminded me that I had made one with my children a few weeks ago, which we all enjoyed very much. I am sure that S. would have loved to add this one to her cahier de recettes. Bon Appétit!

- 1/3 cup (75 gr or 2.6 oz) butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 gr or 5.2 oz) light brown cane sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 big orange, zested and juiced
- 2 cups (250 gr or 8.8 oz) Flour
- 1 ts Baking Powder
- 1 ts Baking Soda
- 1/4 ts salt
- 2/3 cup Chocolate Chips (more if desired)
- 1 cup buttermilk (250ml or 8 Fl oz) (or plain yogurt)
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  •  In a food processor, whisk butter and sugard until light and fluffy
  •  Add eggs, one a time, whisking in between
  •  Stir in Orange zest
  •  In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  •  Stir in buttermilk and dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternatively starting with buttermilk.
  •  Stir in chocolate chips
  •  Place into a bread pan
  •  Cook in the oven for 40-45mn. A tested should come out clear.

For syrup:

  • In a saucepan, stir in the Orange juice with 1/2 cup (100 gr or 3.3 oz) of sugar.
  • Cook until syrup reduces and thickens.
  • Pour over cake to moist
My Personal Comments:
  • I am not a big fan of Syrup on pound cake so I generally leave them behind.
  • You could do without the chocolate chips but I think that they appeal to children (and adults) more.


  1. I can make pancakes, cakes, cookies, chicken,bacon and pasta I started to make these kind of things when I was only six years old. How did i think of it? i watched my mum and nanny cook and i knew i wanted to do better. When i started first grade two years ago when my nanny came over i said to my mum i'm going to make breakfast. For a surprise i made pancakes for breakfast everyone was proud of me.Once my sister c. had a sleepover with A. i asked what she had for breakfast C. replied chocolate chip pancakes i thought it was pretty cool so i decided to make my own it did start off bad because c. told me to put a cup of chocolate chips - crazy! But i didn't give up i made different kinds of pancakes for a year every Saturday or Sunday.Then i learned even more kind of food to make by watching my family cook and now i am like the family chef why do i do it? i just love cooking.

  2. SC is so cute! Keep up the good work.

  3. AnonymousJune 14, 2010

    Since we had friends come over who have three children, I decided to make this in addition to my less child-friendly (read tart) lemon tart. It was a hit with all four kids (mine included). Since I couldn't find any real chocolate chips here, I just put some cote d'or in the food processor. The result is a more streaked cake, but just as good.