Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Chocolate Ginger Marble Cakes

Chocolate Ginger Marble Cakes (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the cakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
16 tablespoons (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

For the glaze

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
crystallized ginger, if desired

To prepare the cakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda and salt.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate and heat at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until just melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Scoop out 1/2 of the batter into a separate bowl - fold in melted chocolate.

Alternately spoon the two batters between two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together by dragging a thin knife back and forth through each loaf pan several times. Firmly tap pans on counter to remove any air bubbles and to level batter.

Place pans into the oven and bake until a toothpick placed into the centers comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 60 to 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and set loaf pans on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before turning cakes out onto another wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the glaze

In a medium saucepan, add cream and bring to a boil. Add chocolate, remove from the heat and stir gently until smooth and combined. Set aside and let cool until slightly thickened.

Place cakes (still on wire rack) over a baking sheet. Evenly pour glaze over each cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let sit about 30 minutes to set glaze - top each with strips of crystallized ginger, if desired.

Makes 2 loaf cakes.

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