Friday, August 13, 2010

Cake and Eggs

We were fortunate to belong to a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) group last year.  You know, when you receive a bunch of locally grown fruits and vegetables every week then go into Iron Chef mode to figure out what to do with it all.  I loved that little mini-battle each week, but in this economic climate, it was too expensive to continue.  I miss you, Farmer Neil!

What I really miss are the farm fresh eggs that were delivered each week.  If you've never had the pleasure, let me tell you that farm fresh eggs bear no resemblance whatsover to what you find in your local chain grocery store.  Farm fresh egg yolks are bright yellow and they "stand up" much higher than their supermarket counterparts.  They taste better, too.  Much better.  Cleaner, brighter and (strangely enough) less odorous.  I can get a little creeped out by that eggy smell, but it doesn't happen with farm fresh eggs.

So when Henry came home recently with a dozen fresh eggs from a co-worker who has a farm, I was ecstatic.  Scrambled eggs, welcome back!

This same co-worker has also provided us with squash and zucchini over the past few weeks.  (Good thing, since the stuff I planted wilted and died).  I decided it was time for some reciprocity.

I figured a homemade cake was in order.  If I didn't have a blog, I would have made my favorite pound cake.  However, since I already posted that recipe (link below), I decided to be self-serving and bake up something I could blog about.  Thank you for pushing me outside  my box!

MARBLE VELVET CAKE  (adapted from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum)

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% - 62% cacao), chopped
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, divided
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 oz. unsalted butter, softened

For the glaze: (optional)
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted with 4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 oz. milk chocolate, melted with 4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 oz. white chocolate, melted with 4 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and set oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Grease a 10-cup fluted pan (I used a silicone pan which made it a breeze to turn out the cake after baking and cooling). 

Place the chocolate into a small saucepan over low heat, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds or so until just melted.  Remove from heat to melt completely and cool slightly.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sour cream and the vanilla until just combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.  Add the butter and remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes then scrape down sides of bowl.

Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add egg mixture in three parts, beating on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Remove 1/3 of the batter (1 1/2 cups) to another bowl and stir in the melted chocolate until well-blended and no streaks remain.

Spoon 1/3 of the remaining (vanilla) batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Top with dollops of half the chocolate batter and spread gently but evenly.  Top with another third of the plain batter, then with dollops of the remaining chocolate batter,  Spread evenly and top with the remaining third of the  plain batter, spreading it evenly over the top.

Use a regular tablespoon to marbelize the batter lightly.  Dip the spoon in, without touching the bottom or sides and lift up and over in a folding motion (like the roll of a wave) six to eight times, going all around the pan.  Smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert it onto a wire rack.  Let cool completely.

When cake is cool, drizzle with the three melted chocolates, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Transfer to a cake stand or serving platter. 

Serves 12 to 14

Wish I could post a photo of the cake after it was cut but I thought it might be a little tacky to give someone a cake with a slice missing!

1 comment:

  1. Clearly this is exactly what I call a good blog article! Do you run this domain for your private goals only or you basically exploit it as a source of income?