Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate Covered Marble Pound Cake

I love making marble cake. It's my go to when I'm baking for people whose preferences I don't know - who doesn't like marble? And this recipe really delivered. I've been taught to be skeptical of cake recipes that call for cocoa powder instead of chocolate, but this was moist and delicious.
One thing that was strange about this recipe was the baking directions - it baked for a while at 350, then more at 325, then even more covered. I don't think I've ever baked a cake covered before, but I figured I would follow the instructions as they were written, and I wasn't sorry. I guess because loaf pans are so deep, they take a while to cook through, and you don't want the top to burn.
Luckily the cake popped right out of the pan, and once it cooled I covered it with a thick chocolate glaze, that set up hard. There's something about a loaf cake that I like too - maybe it's the neat slices. I really hate cutting up my own cakes - not because I can't bear to slice in to them, but because I usually make a mess of it. Luckily I can usually find someone else to slice.
Time to go back to watching ice skating. And ski jumping. And snowboarding. And bobsled.

Tip of the Day:
Most loaf pans are either 9x3 or 8x4, which can be used interchangeably. If you double a loaf pan recipe, you can use a standard bundt or tube pan, though baking times will likely be less.

Recipe:
Marble Pound Cake (from RecipeZaar)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Beat together the softened butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed. Stir in vanilla.
Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Mix in milk until smooth.
[Alternatively, process in food processor.]
Stir together the melted butter and cocoa until smooth. Mix with 1 cup of the batter.
Pour half the remaining batter in to a greased loaf pan, top with half the cocoa batter and swirl, repeating with the remaining batter.
Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 325 F and bake for another 25 minutes. Loosely cover with foil, and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Heat together until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly before applying to completely cooled cake.

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