Marble cake. Also known as the type of cakes that are meant to make your cakes look real fancy when you cut into them.
*edit: 20 March 2016 I realise that all the images I had uploaded with Imageshack back in 2013 no longer exist anymore so my post is terribly bare now! 😦
I haven’t been baking much these last two weeks because I was really busying myself with trying to write an 8000 word paper on American defamation law. I was very relieved to have handed it in last night because I was on the verge of going quite cray. (Fingers crossed that I did well!!)
But moving onto more tasty things…marble cake!
It looks ok, right? The cake tasted great, actually.
Can you feel a ‘but’ coming on? Because the ‘but’ is here.
I was so distracted making this cake …there were so many things I didn’t do. The battery of my camera also fizzled out unexpectedly during the cooking process- I should have seen that as an omen this cake wasn’t going to have a smooth ride to the oven. Wah.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Everything was going alright in the beginning, my butter and eggs were at room temperature and there was nothing out of the ordinary.
The butter and sugar and eggs made nice as I began to sift my dry ingredients together…
But when I began to add in the milk (all at one time) things began to go bad. Usually I alternate between adding in flour and milk just so then my mixture doesn’t get overwhelmed with liquid or too dry from the dry ingredients. But this time round I was lazy and I didn’t think that not alternating between dry and wet was going to make a huge difference. For the shape of my mixing bowl (quite narrow at the bottom and wide at the top), it was a really bad idea.
It was about this time the camera battery decided to die- I’m thinking it was probably ashamed at how the mixture was turning out. (I did plug the camera battery in so then I’d be able to take some pictures of the end product though!) The butter, egg and sugar mixture just began to curdle like crazy very shortly after I began to mix the milk in- the mixture began to slosh around madly like a wave in the film ‘The Perfect Storm’. I tried to salvage the mixture by quickly adding in the flour and that did not work at all. It looked like grits…which it wasn’t meant to look like at all.
So I had to start all over again. This time round, I put in milk, flour, milk, flour until I had none left. I know from talking to friends who like to bake that adding in all the milk at one then before adding the flour works for them, it just doesn’t work for me. I’m thinking it’s got something to do with the shape of my mixing bowl, so whenever I add in wet liquids, it all tends to funnel down, as opposed to spreading out more evenly in a wider bowl. I do think to be on the safe side though, I would recommend alternating between wet and dry ingredients just so then you don’t overwhelm and ruin what would have been a lovely mixture.
Anyway, my second attempt was much butter and I moved onto the next stage, which was separating the mixture so then I’d have 1/3 left to make cocoa-y. That went alright, although I do think I mixed in too much cocoa (or didn’t leave enough batter for the cocoa), because it was rather hard to stir in. But I trundled on.
I stuck a knife in through the batter to hoped that a marble effect would come out after my cake was throughly baked. I reasoned with myself, that if it didn’t, I could always tell my family that the awkward uneven coloured halves of my cake was intentional.
And now, for my next big boo boo..
It was only when I was washing the mixing bowl that I realised…
I hadn’t added in any salt.
Yes, crickey johnsons exactly.
So what did I do? I screamed internally and gasped externally and rushed to sprinkle salt onto the top of the cake as it was happily cooking away, oblivious that it was missing its salty spark.
I also forgot after buttering my baking pan, to flour the surface so then the cake wound’t stick. Sure, butter helps, but flour makes me more fail proof. I was lucky that my cake came away clean when I just tipped the pan upside down.
Laura Vitale’s recipe made me think that my cake was going to turn out all smooth and flat. Hers definitely turned out beautifully. Mine cake turned out looking like the perilous plains of Mount Orodruin -_-
But at least I achieved something of a marble effect?
The pattern of the marble looked extremely different throughout the whole cake…but that’s the point, right?
Are you wondering whether my last ditch salt throwing effort did anything to save my cake?
Well, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate and vanilla, so taste wise, it wasn’t as if the cake was horrible or inedible. But the salt definitely would have brought out the taste much more. Instead, since the salt was sitting on top where all the cocoa was, the cocoa was particularly intense compared to vanilla partying down at the bottom.
Lesson to learn: just remember to add in the salt, okay?
I’ve got the recipe down for this marble cake right down below; Laura Vitale has a youtube channel that lets you watch how she makes her food, which I think it really instructional, so I’ve embedded it here! : )
Source: Laura In The Kitchen
Adapted from Laura Vitale’s Marble Cake Recipe
Prep time: 12 mins
Cook time: 1 hrs 15 mins
¾ cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
¼ cup of Vegetable Oil
2 cups of Granulated Sugar
1 cup of Whole Milk
1 Tbsp of Vanilla Extract or 1 Enevlope of Italian Vanilla
1 Envelope of Pandegliangeli or 2 tsp of Baking Powder
2 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
½ cup of Cocoa Powder
½ tsp of Salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/ 163 C, spray a 10 inch/25cm tube pan with non stick spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, pandegliangeli, vanillina and salt, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, butter and sugar until very creamy, add the eggs and continue to mix until the mixture is thick and pale.
- Alternate between pouring in the milk and flour into the mixture and mix it all together until incorporated but do not over mix.
- Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and set aside.
- Add the cocoa powder to the reserved 1/3 of the batter and mix it all together so you have a smooth chocolate batter.
- Spoon the chocolate mixture all over the top of the cake batter and using a butter knife, run it through the batter to slightly mix the batter together but don’t mix too vigorously!
- Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before inverting onto a plate.