Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old-fashioned Marble Cake

I love a good, simple cake. It is the true test of a recipe and the quality of the ingredients. A good cake does not need fancy frosting or gilded garnishing. It stands out on its own because of its taste and texture. Give me a good, simple cake any day, I say.

This old-fashioned Marble Cake is one such example, and it's no surprise that it's from one of those handwritten recipes that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Grandmother/Grandfather recipes are always the best. :)

I saw this cake at Pick Yin's lovely blog and was wowed by the beautiful, fine texture. I got even more excited when I saw that the recipe uses the "egg separation" method (beating yolks and whites separately, and then combining them). I had previously baked a Marble Cake using the "whole eggs" method but found the texture too blah.

So naturally, this joined my ever-growing list of "must-try" cakes, and I finally made it yesterday, all thanks to a sudden craving. You know the sad thing is, I realised the only way to have a real buttery, chocolatey marble cake is to bake it myself. Commercial ones seem to reek of margarine (or is it shortening?), which totally kills the cake. Honestly, I don't know of any bakery in Singapore which makes a good Marble Cake. Do you?

My word of caution is, the yolk/sugar/butter mixture is rather viscous, and you need to "loosen it up" with some egg whites before folding in the rest. There is also the challenge of making sure you fold thoroughly without overfolding in the process. A simple cake, no doubt, but one which does require some technique.

But do it right, and you'll get this:




A tender texture with just the right amount of bite AND it tastes even better on Day 2! I guarantee, you won't stop at one slice. I scarfed down 2 slices as I shared it on Twitter, and then climbed 70 flights of stairs as payback. Remember: a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. You have been warned. ;)

Recipe
(from Life is Great - do hop over for a glimpse at the gorgeous Marble Cake!)

- 8 large eggs, separated
- 9 ozs (255g) castor sugar
- 12 ozs (340g) unsalted butter, softened
- 9 ozs (255g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsps good quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven at 160°C (convection fan on) with a wire rack in the middle. Line an 8-inch round cake tin with parchment, butter and flour. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment till light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar till light. Gradually add this into the butter and beat on medium speed till just incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites till stiff peaks form. With a spatula, fold in the meringue into the egg yolk mixture in 3-4 batches*. Add in the dry ingredients gradually until just incorporated.
* The first time I added the egg whites, it was impossible to fold. What I did was just mix it up with the thick yolk batter and "loosen up" the batter. The subsequent batches were much easier. I folded the whites in 3 batches.

3. Scoop out 1/4* of the batter in a separate bowl. Sieve cocoa powder over it and fold to mix well. Pour batters into tin, alternating between the two mixtures. Start with the yellow batter and end with the cocoa mixture. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. With a long skewer, swirl (sparingly) around the batter to create the marble effect. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
* This is somewhat arbitrary. A little more won't hurt, especially if you want a bit more chocolate in your cake! :)

4. Cool on wire rack completely before serving. Cake keeps at room temperature up to 3 days and can be frozen up to 3 months.


52 comments:

  1. Hi, may I know beat the egg yolk and sugar till light is just use hand to mix or must use mixer to mix till ribbon stage?

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    1. Hi, beat by hand. No need ribbon stage since you are going to add it to the butter.

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  2. this cake require a lot of egges. And load of sugar . . . BTW, your foto looks great.

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  3. Hi, thank you very much for replying. So I just mixed until the sugar melted right? Sorry to ask so many question. :)

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    1. I don't think the sugar will melt. But yes, beat together till it dissolves.

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  4. Your version looks so light and lovely! Most marble cakes i've came across is very oily. :) This is perfect

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  5. Yay yay!! So pretty! I would do 1/3 batter chocolate. My friend's MIL would be so proud!

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    1. Thanks SO much for sharing this recipe, Pick Yin! And for the inspiration via your gorgeous photography!

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  6. Hi Ju, thank you very much. See the texture of your cake made me so eager to try it out. :)

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  7. hi jun, can i leave the incorporated bowl of egg and butter aside while i whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks? Becos i've only one fitted mixer bowl around, thanks in advance!

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  8. Very beautiful and delicious looking cake!
    Old fashion cake - but most lovable

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  9. The cake looks lovely!! I always love a good marble cake!

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  10. Hi, Can I mixed the flour with the butter first then fold in the egg white? Will it deflate if I mix the egg white first then fold in flour?

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    1. Err, I don't know. This is my first time making this cake and I followed the recipe to a T. Sorry, not much help here.

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  11. Hi Ju, it's ok. :) I'm going to try the cake tomorrow. :)

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  12. I always pick those plain cakes without any fancy frosting. Your marble cake wins my heart.

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  13. Hi Ju, I think I've over beaten the egg white. This is the first time i beat egg white w/o sugar. :) But the cake still turns out soft. Thank you very much for the recipe. :)

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  14. Hi Ju, do you fold in the flour with a spatula or use the electric mixer? And, my cake always crack on the top but yours look perfect. I am unsure where went wrong.

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    1. "Folding" automatically means you have to use a spatula or (metal) spoon.

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  15. Thanks Ju, I am going to try making this cake tonight. Very nervous cos I am never good with beating & flolding egg white.

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  16. Nice pictures and yummy cake. I baked this marble cake based on Pick Yin's recipe two days ago. It's incredibly awesome! I thought I will fail once mix in the egg white as it did not incorporate with yolk/sugar/butter very well. Luckily I did not give up and my parents like this cake very much. Definitely will try to bake this cake again. By the way, may I know how you "loosen it up" with egg white?

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    1. Hi, you just need to add some egg whites to the yolk mixture, and mix it up. No need to be gentle or afraid. :) Just mix it up so that it won't be so sticky and thick. Then when you add the whites in the 2nd and 3rd batches, fold it in. It will easier now, as the original mixture would be lighter. HTH.

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  17. Absolutely delicious cake! Love marble cake. I did not beat the eggs ad sugar separately but added the sugar to the butter after creaming the butter and then added the egg yolks two at a time. I added a little flour and a little egg white and mixed it into the butter mix thus until the flour and whipped egg white were over. The cake was really moist and light.

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe:) I prefer this than tish boyle's marble cake. More old school, I guess. Taste just like the ones I had when I was younger. Ate a huge slice too. Sinful sinful.

    Zan

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  19. this cake totally flopped. the choc mixture all settled to the bottom and a greasy film formed at the bottom of the pan :( really thought it would be a hit. oh well.

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  20. I baked this cake last night with half the portion in a 6' cake tin. I cut it this a.m. for breakfast. WOW !! so moist & texture is just right. Everyone loves it !! Many thanks Ju.

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  21. hye, I baked the cake and it was awesome! im sooo goin to make it again =D thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  22. hi ju. i really enjoy reading your blog.. your posts are really fun and your pictures - beautiful. i have tried this recipe, and it's as you say, it tastes even more delicious the next day. thanks for sharing. i look forward to more wonderful posts from you. you're on my favorite blogs list (^^)

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    1. butterfly: Thanks so much! Glad you had success with this cake and loved it. Happy baking ... :)

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  23. Do u believe it? I omitted the chocolate part & it become a wonderful butter cake. So delicious!! U R right, can't stop at 1 slice. yum to the max. Thanks Ju. Rgd/Pineapple tarts

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  24. love the old fashioned cake.

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  25. Hi there~
    Is it okay if i cut down the ingredients to fit a smaller portion? For example if i use 2 eggs, can i cut the other ingredients as well?

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    1. Hi, I would suggest that you cut down the ingredients by half and not more. Many recipes just don't work when the ingredients are reduced by too much ...

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  26. Hi Ju and Pick Yin

    I just baked this cake!

    It's my first time baking a marble cake and it turned out very well ( though I had some minor hiccups while preparing the batter) :D I find it exciting to slice the cake and see the marble effect! Thank you for the recipe!

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  27. Yum, I LOVE marble cake, it's so tasty!! :)

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  28. I did mine today ... The batter was a bit thick n I got worried . But it turned out great .

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  29. Tried this , wasnt really good . Too dry . Don't u think needs some liquid ? In ur other marble cake recepies there were milk .

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  30. I cut down the recipe in half... and i used the grams measurements.. It turned out very soft and fluffy which is good but it needed more sugar and i think that the eggs are too many! my cake smells like eggs.... egg yolks. maybe because the eggs are from my grandmother's chickens... i don't now. :( :( :(

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  31. If I reduce the sugar level will it affect the texture or will the cake collapse?

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  32. This looks so beautiful and yummy. Just wondering if it can carry the weight if stacked and decorated with fondant icing.

    Nkechi

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  33. i tried this cake yesterday requested by my mom. was in a hurry and creamy the butter with the sugar instead of egg with the sugar but the cake still came out nicely and everyone loved it.

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  34. Is this cske ok to use and decorated with fondant icing, also what quantity would you use for a 10" cake , Thanks

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  35. hi, i tried your recipe and i read in your other cake recipes that you often tent your batter while baking. Because I have a very small oven thus i tent it with an aluminium foil while baking but after 40 mins, the batter was like a boiling liquid which never hardened =\

    I continued baking for 30 mins with the foil half opened to allow the radiation from the grills to brown and harden the top of the cake, and then replaced the foil with a drenched baking paper and baked for another 20 mins because the cake on the inside was still liquidy.

    the cake turned out to be slightly burnt on the top and very dry. but when i ate a slice of cake the next day, it was more moist and tastier.

    pls tell me what did i do wrong and how to properly tent it :(

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  36. Hi Ju, can I use salted butter so no need to add 1/4 salt in the recipe? Will the effect the texture of the cake? Pls advice,thanks

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