Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Marble Cake

A few weeks ago, D and I were at a Borders Book Store at our local mall. He was buying one of his many "favorite" books. He is definitely like me in that he is a big reader and has to own all his books. The library just doesn't "do it" for him. He used to get really annoyed with me when he was younger and I took him to the library because he hated to have to return the books. As we were heading towards the checkout, I spied a book called The Seven Sins of Chocolate by Laurent Schott. It caught my eye right away because D is also a chocolate lover like me. I showed it to him and he said, "let's get it mom." Well, I have yet to make any recipes from that cookbook. It turns out that more than half of the recipes contain some type of liquor or other. The recipe for this Marble Cake contained Grand Marnier. D is definitely NOT a fan of alcohol in baked goods. I decided to try this recipe anyway and leave out the inappropriate ingredients. The results were amazing. It is such a simple cake. The only thing that could possibly have made the difference is that I heeded Laurent Schott's advice and took the eggs and butter out of the refrigerator a few hours before I baked the cake. The other thing that may have made a difference is that I used the recommended Dutch Processed cocoa. I nearly always ignore that type of recommendation and just use what I have in my pantry. Fortunately, I didn't ignore it this time. This cake is absolutely luscious. I made a first cake from the original recipe sans the Grand Marnier and orange peel. It was meant for a 6 cup bundt pan but I have a regular size 12 cup fluted bundt pan. Needless to say, the cake was tiny. But it was so good that I decided to double it and make the full sized cake to serve on Mother's Day, too.

Here is the recipe. Do try it. I didn't see the need for any type of frosting or glaze. It is good enough without any. I guess you could sift some confectioner's sugar over it, if you wanted.

Adapted from The Seven Sins of Chocolate by Laurent Schott

Remember to take all the ingredients out of the refrigerator a few hours before making this cake – that way the batter will be perfectly smooth

Serves 12-14

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter and flour a fluted-tube pan

Mix the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and baking powder into a heavy-duty electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter in half, add the cocoa to one half, and mix well.

Drop alternate, irregular portions of the two cake mixtures into the pan to create a marbled effect. (I also used a butter knife to run through the batter to marble it.)

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Check that the cake is done by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center. When it comes out dry, remove the cake from the oven. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.
UPDATE: Comments from some of my guests were that this cake was "dry." That is a typical comment on cakes that have been made from scratch. People are used to eating box cake mixes. This definitely is NOT a box mix. I would suggest that you serve this cake warm from the oven or pop the pieces into the microwave for a few seconds. This will bring out the flavors and hopefully you won't get the "dry" comments.

The Creative Cook