Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Glazed Double-Chocolate Marble Cake

I am having a difficult time losing my layer of Winter Fat this year, and since I have increased my running I can only blame--- food. Sweets, in particular. No sooner had I finished the Christmas cookies, then Valentine’s Day baking came around, and then, most recently, my Dad’s birthday. I adore chocolate, and haven’t yet met a cake or cookie I didn’t like (my only saving grace, if it should be called this, is that I am not wild about pie). I am also crazy about carbs. I am writing this while eating a nice, warm slice of Mom’s cinnamon bread. Hey, it’s still 2 hours until dinner!

Anyway, Easter looms on the horizon. This year I will not be spending it with my family, so I suppose the only good aspect of this is that the piles of my Mom’s homemade goodies will not be tempting me every second of my waking moments while we are there. But first, as I mentioned, my Dad’s birthday. This was a biggie, #75, and I made his cake.

This was one of three cakes offered that day. My twin nieces were born on the same day as my Dad, so they also have been joining in on his celebration for the past 10 years. Mom made each girl their own cake, too, so there was a lot to choose from. Or maybe not so much, since 20 people blew through most of all 3 cakes and there was little leftover (yay!).

The cake which I made was from Canadian Living’s Holiday Best 2005 issue, Glazed Double-Chocolate Marble Cake. Actually, it is triple chocolate since there is white chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in the batter, and bittersweet chocolate in the glaze. Heaven.

I’ve never had a lot of luck with making cakes from scratch, but have found that bundt-type cakes are much more forgiving than the layer cakes. This one was quite easy to make and tasted absolutely delicious. And that ganache used to glaze it with… wow. It was a perfect “frosting” as it added a nice silky-sweet chocolate taste, yet did not dominate the cake like traditional frostings can do. Basically, this was melted bittersweet chocolate and whipping cream, and some day I will make up a nice, warm bowlful and eat it with a spoon…

Now, I altered the directions from the original recipe a little. I have found that cakes become lighter in texture when the ingredients are not cold, so take out the butter, eggs, and buttermilk beforehand. In fact, the butter should be well-softened, so that ingredient should be taken out earlier if possible. The chocolates which are used in the batter must be melted and cooled before making the cake, so this needs to be done prior to turning on the oven. Yes, it’s a little fussy but marble cakes are. And this one is worth it. I am including the nutritional information at the end of the recipe, but I haven’t yet worked up the courage to look at it.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Glazed Double-Chocolate Marble Cake

Recipe By: Canadian Living Fall 2005

Servings : 16

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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2/3 cup butter -- softened

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate -- chopped

3 ounces white chocolate -- chopped

3 large eggs

1 cup lowfat buttermilk

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate -- chopped

1/4 cup heavy cream

Remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften.

In a glass bowl, melt the unsweetened chocolate in the microwave (or over a pan of hot water) and set aside to come to room temperature. Repeat with the white chocolate.

Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and measure 1 cup of buttermilk; place both on the counter to start to come to room temperature a bit.

Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour (note: I have great results with Baker's Joy in lieu of the grease-and-flour) and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Divide this dry mixture in half (using a scale or measuring cups), placing in separate bowls. Set both bowls aside.

Preheat oven to 325F

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, while still beating, and beat for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs (one at a time), and beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Spoon half of the batter into a medium bowl and stir in the unsweetened chocolate. To the rest of the batter, add the white chocolate and stir well.

Working with the dark chocolate batter, add half of the first bowl of dry ingredients, stir a little, then add HALF of the buttermilk, stir, then add the remaining half of that first bowl of dry ingredients.

Repeat this with the white chocolate batter and the second bowl of dry ingredients (flour, etc.).

Using a large serving spoon, dollop the batter into the bundt pan, alternating dark and light batters. Make 2 or 3 layers of "dollops" in the pan then, when the batters are used, run a spatula through all layers to swirl. Tap the pan twice on a hard surface to break and interior bubbles, and place in the center of the oven.

Bake for about 45 minutes, then test with a toothpick or cake tester. Depending on if you use a dark or shiny pan, it may take up to 55 minutes for the cake to bake completely (the toothpick will come out of the cake with no crumbs attached). Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, use a small rubber spatula to loosen the cake from the sides and center tube, shake just a bit to further loosen, place a greased wire rack over the top, and invert the cake. Cool completely. (At this point you can hold the cake, wrapped in plastic, for 24 hours; wrapped further in foil it can be frozen for up to a month)


Place chopped bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream just to boiling over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate and stir until chocolate melts. Let stand for 10 minutes, then brush over the cake (if desired, place strips of waxed paper under the outer edge of the cake to catch the drips). Sprinkle chocolate curls over the cake. Let stand at a cool temperature until ganache is set, about 40 minutes. (Cover cake with bowl or other cover which will not "touch" the surface of the ganache, and store at a cool-ish room temperature for up to 24 hours)

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Per serving: 301 Calories (kcal); 16g Total Fat; (45% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 61mg Cholesterol; 284mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

I had no time to take a photo once the cake was cut, and it was very pretty with the dark-and-light swirls.

Ahhh, chocolate curls. The bane of my cake-making existence. I love how they look, but I am rarely satisfied with how they turn out no matter how many tips I read or instructional videos I watch. And a note for those who are interested in the marbleized curls—the white chocolate does not easily bind with the dark chocolate and, only at a very certain temperature, will they choose to curl together without breaking apart. It drove me nuts and took hours, and I still wasn’t satisfied. But everyone ooohed and aaahed, so I figured that it didn’t look too bad! :) Unfortunately, there was a lot of waste. Which is all now on my waist.