Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marbled Pound Cake.

I know. I've made marble pound cake before. But...

1. Sometimes real-life, off-the-blog baking isn't all chocolate ganache and layers of chocolate and caramel and doughnuts. It's simple. Classy. Chocolate + vanilla + cake. 
+ face. Obviously. 

2. Buttermilk. I love buttermilk. I want to shower in buttermilk. Buttermilk makes everything better. Fact.

3. This recipe is actually supposed to be baked in a loaf pan... not in a tube-pan-but-I'm-baking-it-in-a-loaf-pan-anyway. No crispy, burnt edges = pound cake success.  
4. Less sugar! Way less sugar, actually.  

5. But mostly? There were just a lot of last-minute coffee dates that started with my boyfriend ordering a slice of Starbucks marble cake, then turning to me and nonchalantly dropping, "Hey. Don't you have a recipe for this cake?  I love it when you bake. You're really pretty."
By the way, is pound cake a quick bread or a cake? I know it says cake right there in the title, but it's kind of deceiving since it's baked in a loaf pan and looks like bread and all that.
Plus if this were a cake there'd definitely be some kind of chocolate glaze or cream cheese frosting on top. And sprinkles. Always. This isn't even super sweet or all that chocolatey.   

Marbling things is my very favorite. 
So if you think about it... pound cake is kind of like banana bread. Or zucchini bread. Or french bread.

It's breakfast, basically.
Which totally legitimizes slicing it up and making it into french toast. I'm just saying.
Marbled Pound Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 + 3/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper; set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour.

Set aside 1/3 of the batter.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add to the batter set aside and stir until well combined.

Spoon batters into the prepared pan, alternating between vanilla and chocolate. To create a marbling effect, cut a knife through the batters in a swirling motion.
Bake for 40-50 minutes,  rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn cake out from pan and allow to cool completely.

Source: From Buttered Up, originally adapted from Martha Stewart.