Saturday, May 26, 2012

Marble Cake

Marble Cake
Makes 10 to 12 servings

BAKERS NOTE: For the easiest way to transfer the batters to the pan, use a 2 ½–inch diameter ice cream scoop.

Softened butter for the pan
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons superfine sugar, divided
4 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/3 cup brewed strong coffee, cooled
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour the inside of an 8-cup fluted tube pan and tap out the excess flour.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 1 ½ cups of the sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until the mixture is very light in color and texture, (scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicon spatula occasionally) about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, add the flour, scraping down the bowl as needed and beating until smooth after each addition.

3. Whisk the cocoa, coffee, instant espresso powder, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and almond extract together in a medium bowl to dissolve the cocoa. Transfer a little less than half of the batter to the cocoa mixture and mix with a spoon until smooth. Using a 2 ½-inch diameter ice cream scoop, alternate scoops of the vanilla and chocolate batters into the pan. With a chopstick, swirl the batters together, taking care not to touch the sides of the pan. Gently smooth the top.

4. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely.

(The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.)

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