Special equipment: 8-cup mini loaf pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-cup mini loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whip together the remaining 1/4 cup butter, the ricotta, sugar, olive oil, orange zest and vanilla bean seeds in a separate large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Add the dry ingredients and continue to beat until light and airy, another 3 minutes. Drop the eggs into the mix session one at a time. Drop in the chocolate bits and stir with a spatula until they are evenly spread throughout the batter.
Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Insert toothpicks into the pound cakes to see if it pulls out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.