Baking is one of my favorite stress relievers and time “wasters.” The passing of time, the artistry, the precision, the magic, and the curiously addictive aroma make me extremely satisfied at the end of hours of labor.
After having failed to make the steamed Chinese sponge cake twice in a row, I needed a little confidence booster in baking. I found a recipe of marble cake from my old roommate back in the early grad school days. (The original recipe was perhaps from Martha Stewart.) It was one of my favorites to make and to eat. The final product is like a work of art. And unlike many other recipes for which I had to tone down the amount of sugar, this recipe’s sweetness is perfectly balanced with the bitter (unsweetened) cocoa and a hint of amaretto. Shockingly, the marble cake was a bigger hit than the banana bread in the office on Monday. I left it on the office kitchen counter slightly after lunch thinking most people weren’t going to want to eat this right after lunch. Within the hour I walked by the kitchen, my pyrex dish was swept clean!! I knew the marble cake was good but I didn’t know it was this good. Here’s the recipe and happy baking.
- 1 3/4 cups (cake four)
- 2 tsp baking power
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter softened in room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2/3 cups butter milk
- 5 tblsp cocoa powder (I recommend Scharffenburger)
- 6 tblsp boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Butter a loaf pan
- Sift the flour with baking power and salt in a small bowl and set it aside
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until sugar has dissolved
- Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, blend well. Blend in the vanilla extra and almond extract.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and butter milk to the butter mixture in thirds. Blend well after each addition.
- Dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water.
- Pour 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Mix the rest well with the cocoa mixture. Pour that third on top. Take a knife and score into the batter. Swirl some white batter from the bottom to the top. Don’t over do this or the pattern won’t show in the end.
- Bake in the oven for 50minutes to 1 hour or until done. Let it cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before removing from the pan.