I confess I am not much of a baker. I am often intimidated by baking techniques especially when it comes to cakes. I have done a few cakes here and there but they are often pretty simple and uncomplicated. You may notice that a lot of my cakes are cheesecakes as not only are they my true favorite, they are quite easy to make. One of those cakes I have often wished to make was a marble cake. Before, just thinking about attempting one scared me so I postponed making one for the longest time.
I did try making a swirled cheesecake in an attempt to make a marbled cake but that one ended in disaster! The cheesecake itself was fine - it tasted wonderfully delicious but it looked like a major wreck! Epic fail on the looks part. To me the cake resembled an exploding galaxy so I was once tempted to name it Milky Way Cheesecake as I imagined it looked like that - like the whole universe exploded in pieces. Thankfully, I managed to rescue it by adding some bits of white chocolate on top! It's certainly true - chocolate is the solution to anything. :)
Undaunted by that failure, I thought I'll try to make a sponge marble cake this time - perhaps the cheesecake one was a bit to complicated for my skills yet....and voila - I consider this second attempt a success! Oh, well perhaps to an expert's eye - this doesn't look marbled enough but for me - I am totally happy with it. What do you think?
This recipe makes 2 loaves so if you fail on one - hopefully the other one would look better....lol. Honestly, if I can make it look good like this, I am pretty sure you can, too. Enjoy this yummy cake and please go easy on the Rum.... :)
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Butter, room temperature
2 cups Sugar*
6 large Eggs*
Zest and juice of 1 large Lemon
4 Tablespoons dark Rum*
3 Tablespoons Milk
1 pack (12 oz) dark Chocolate chips or eating chocolate of the same weight, melted
*For a non-alcoholic version use this mixture of 4 Tablespoons pure Maple Syrup plus 1 teaspoon Almond Extract. I didn't have any rum so I used the non-alcoholic substitute when I made this.
*Don't be turned off by the amount of eggs or sugar as this recipe makes 2 loaves. If you won't eat all two loaves in one go, then go ahead and freeze the bread.
Butter or grease 2 loaf pans (5 x 8 x 2 in size approximately). Line each pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper as well.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lower the heat to 325F if using a dark pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the lemon zest and juice plus 2 tablespoons of either the rum or maple syrup/almond mixture until well-incorporated.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients. Transfer half of the mixture into another bowl.
Stir the remaining rum or maple syrup/almond mixture and milk with the melted chocolate. Beat until smooth. Blend well with half of the cake mixture. You will now have two cake batters - plain and chocolate.
Alternately add heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate and plain mixtures on the prepared loaf pans until everything is gone. Tap the pans to level the mixture. Using a knife, cut through the mixture using a swirling motion to create the marbled effect.
Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven or until a tester comes out clean.
Transfer the loaves to a wire rack. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely. Slice the cakes only after they have cooled completely.
So perfect with coffee or tea.
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Recipe is adapted from CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE from CRAVE (A passion for Chocolate) by Maureen McKeon.