Chocolate Swirl Marble Pound Cake.

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January has been a month of indecision, maybe even commitment issues. I’ve lost all ability to choose between chocolate and vanilla.

First black & white cookies.

Then marbled chocolate chip cookies.

… and now this chocolate swirl pound cake.

This is hands down one of the best things I’ve ever made. Even the batter was good. It seriously smelled like birthday cake and I could have eaten it with a spoon.

Not that I did.

I’ve never made pound cake before and I was a little intimidated by the layering & marbling. Confession? It was easy. You really do just swirl a knife through the batter. I thought for sure it would take some extra bit of complicated, culinary magic to achieve a pretty marbling.
So good.

Chocolate Swirl Marble Pound Cake

Printable Recipe

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Beat sugar and butter until blended; then increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
Add flour and remaining ingredients except for cocoa. Beat at low speed until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Then increase speed to high and beat for 4 minutes longer, scraping bowl as needed.
4 minutes is a really long time & I’m an impatient person. These pictures? I just wanted to know what a mixer on high speed looked like in a photograph.
I’m easily amused like that.
Scoop out 2 1/2 cups of batter into a small bowl. Whisk in cocoa and espresso powder.
We were out of espresso powder so I used this instead…
Alternately layer vanilla and chocolate batter into prepared pan.
It doesn’t have to be perfectly layered. Using a knife, cut and twist through batter to create the swirly marble effect.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out.
*Note: The edges of my cake started to brown after only 30 minutes so I had to wrap all the edges with foil.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove cake and place on wire rack to finish cooling.

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

Source: Barely adapted from here.

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