April 2, 2011 2 Comments
It’s been a while since I’ve baked. Though I’ve cooked a few things recently with Stephen, it’s just not the same as baking. I don’t know if I’m just rusty, but some less than ideal things occurred during this process. I believe the recipe is perfect though, because the marble cake I made still turned out to be delicious. (Thanks, Martha!)
Just in time for a quarter with several days of early morning class, this marble cake makes breakfast fast and delicious. It’s not too sweet (I chose to omit the white chocolate glaze that the recipe is paired with in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook) but has subtle vanilla and cocoa flavors that meld well on the tongue of a sleepy, witless college student at 7:00 AM.
Start out with some cake flour, baking powder, and salt. I don’t own a sifter, so I made do by whisking furiously. I don’t know if that was adequate though. :( I plan on purchasing a sifter soon…
Cream room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly, until each one is blended.
You’ll get to this point. Scrape down the sides of course. I love this light hue of yellow already.
Incorporate the sifted cake flour into the mixture, alternating in batches with buttermilk. Don’t have buttermilk? Make your own using vinegar and milk! Set aside 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl.
Here is where things get a little shady. Grab some cocoa powder…
And make like, a half-cup of hot chocolate. Martha emphasizes that you need boiling water. Stir vigorously. Add this cocoa liquid to the batter that you put in a separate bowl. Watch your thick gooey batter turn into chocolate soup. (What happened?! I don’t know.) Start fretting.
But you carry on. Butter a loaf pan that is much too long for this recipe (all I had, unfortunately) and spoon in the normal batter and the too runny chocolate batter into a checkerboard pattern. After I put all the batter in, I decided to reread the recipe and apparently, you’re supposed to do two layers of checkerboard so that it’s more, well, checkered. Oops.
As you can see, the chocolate batter in particular is much too runny. The battery is supposed to hold a certain pillowyness before baking. At this point, my oven was preheated and I ran my knife to make a marbling pattern. Prettyyy…
After baking this what you get. Not quite perfectly marbled, but it is golden brown and perfectly crusty.
And when I say perfectly crusty, I mean it’s thin, bronzed, and smooth… like a Brazilian supermodel.
I couldn’t wait to cut it open, so I only waited 10 minutes before running my knife through the middle. Instead of a marble cake, I guess it’s more of a two-tone loaf. Marbled or not, it’s mmm…
I love the crumblyness of the cake, its understated sweetness, and the contrast between the crusty boundary and the soft interior when your teeth sink into a thick slice. Definitely a great start to my last quarter as a 3rd year!
Marble Cake from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1 3/4 cups of cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup of buttermilk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of boiling water
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes (I stopped baking at 45 minutes).