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Chocolate orange pound cake
Joy the Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate pieces

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

On a clean cutting board or counter, place the granulated sugar. Add the orange zest. With a bench scraper or the back of the spoon, work the zest into the granulated sugar, creating a fragrant and orange flavored sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl and make sure that the butter and cream cheese are evenly mixed. Add the citrus zest to the butter and cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On medium speed, beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.

Add dry ingredients all at once. Beat on low speed until dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate pieces.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once or twice during baking. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.

*Some readers are finding that the cake takes up to 75 minutes to fully cook. You might consider loosely placing a foil tent over the cake after about 45 minutes of baking. This will keep it from browning too much, and help the center bake up.

Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to four days.

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