Sunday, March 27, 2016
double chocolate marble cake.
The pink carpet of spring has been rescued from its lengthy confinement in the warehouse of seasons and unrolled with a grand push to excited whispers and barely concealed cheer. Spring might as well be the most anticipated season only second to Christmas, but unlike the latter where festivities are glitzy and glamorous and voices are loud and effervescent, this season is surrounded by a gentle elegance - people tend to stroll and children may skip but footsteps are never too rushed like they were in the dead of the unforgiving winter cold. Heavy coats are shrugged off for less burdensome jackets in more uplifting shades; lunches are ordered to go and consumed under petaled umbrellas of pastel pink and white while engaging in leisurely conversation.
They say spring heralds new beginnings. Already I find that this statement harbours much truth. A close friend of mine recently moved to Tokyo and has her own apartment that is equipped with an oven so I went over a couple of days ago to share in that privilege. I baked this double chocolate marble cake (and another which I will introduce very soon) by one my favourite cookbook authors of all time.
It may be due to the quality of the chocolates I picked up but the intensities of the white and dark chocolate batters were found somewhat wanting. However, the crumb of the cake was fine, which I personally prefer, and it's hard to deny that its cross section is visually stunning.
After the cake was baked and cooled, we cut ourselves hearty generous slices of cake - and took some pictures, naturally - before settling down on the couch, plate in one hand and fork in another, and commenced watching a popular Japanese animation series. We passed comments about the story's development and voiced random thoughts in between bites of cake.
Coming from a country that has only one season all year round (hot humid summer) it was hard to conceive that differences in celsius could so appreciably affect one's mood. But I now realise that it's not just possible but also entirely true.
All hail spring.
Double Chocolate Marble Cake
makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf
adapted from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
4 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for until mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time; beat until the first is incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions and milk in 2, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until each addition is incorporated.
Scrape half the batter into another bowl. Stir the white chocolate into one portion and the dark chocolate into the other.
Spoon dollops of the light and dark batters randomly into the prepared pan then plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zig zag it across the pan. It's best to move forward and not backtrack. Roughly 6 to 8 zigzags should suffice.
Bake the cake for 80 to 90 minutes or until a tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Let it cool completely to room temperature before slicing.