February 11, 2011

Martha's Marble Cake

Nowadays I spend quite a bit of time on marthastewart.com just browsing recipes, planning different crafts and reading blogs. I find many new recipes that I want to try and this marble cake is one that I just had to make.

Growing up my family often made something called Tiger Cake. It was essentially a marble cake made in a bundt pan. I especially remember my brother often making it and I loved the look and the taste of the cake.

This cake tasted good, except I felt that the chocolate cake part was a bit too dark and cocoa powdery to me. I doubt it's the recipes fault, though. I've come to realize how much of a difference the quality of your cocoa powder can make. I used Hershey's, which is definitely not suberb. I hear Valrhona cocoa powder is the best you can get, and by looking at the price it must taste pretty darn good. I may save up and buy some. I'm hoping it will take all the chocolate goods I make from good to fabulous.

Martha's Best Marble Cake (from marthastewart.com)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
3. In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved 1/3 of cake batter; stir until well combined.
4. Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
5. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

I'm thinking about making this for Valentine's, adding red food coloring to the yellow cake part and maybe some raspberry or strawberry puree/extract.

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