Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mocha-walnut marbled loaf cake

It was my moms birthday yesterday and I actually wanted to post this cake yesterday as well. But some guests arrived unannounced and I was left with very little cake to take pics, and no time to blog. I am one of those people who don't plan in advance, who don't have a pantry stocked with awesome things, a freezer full of cutlets etc. I am the type who wakes up in the morning, heads over to make coffee, only to realize I have no milk or sugar. I drag on my tracks and run to grocery store right across the street and pick up the milk. I come back home and realize I don't have enough sugar as well..yes, story of my life, I am that disorganized. Hell I even get into the bath only to realize I don't have shower gel and have to scream my lungs out to Ro who will have to lend me his (free advice: the key to a happy married life, don't share your bathroom with your husband). He sometimes pretends not to hear too.
Ro keeps asking me to write down a list of things I'm out of, but who's listening? I spend hours at the grocery store contemplating and trying hard to remember what I need back home. I will most certainly not learn my lesson, I'm sure. 
But yesterday, these friends arrived unannounced (which is very very rare, mind you) and I panicked. They called me from the underground station (about 5 minutes from my house) and I said Id pick them up. By some crazy intuition I had decided to bake yesterday and this marble cake was in the oven when they called. There was about 24 minutes more to go and I could have easily kept the oven on and left the house but crazy things like the cake burning and the house catching on fire went through my mind and so, not worrying about the outcome, I turned off the oven leaving the cake inside. I guess that is one big NO in the book of baking, especially cakes.
Took a last look around the apartment to see if it was presentable (by that I mean dumping all the vessels into the dishwasher) and ran to pick them up. Came back home and checked the cake, well suddenly remembered that a cake was still in the oven after some 10 minutes of catching up, and found that it had not sunk or anything. So I turned it on again and waited to unravel the disaster in front of my guests. The problem with having an open kitchen is that you cant hide your mess or your blunders which in my case is in abundance...so I warned them and took out the cake and cut into it only to realize it was the yummiest, moistest cake evah!

....and served warm, it was such a treat. The kids loved it and kept asking for more. I also (thankfully) had a bag of chocolate covered pretzels which I'd received at their launch party and so served that as well. Unprepared I was, but at the end I managed it..which is what I tell Ro all the time. I may be disorganized and a last minute person, but I always end up with some solution (mostly by fluke). Each time Ro gets bugged with this act of mine, I remind him that he once mentioned how he loved the fact that, 'I keep him on his toes.'
So anyhoo, the reason I rambled on and on was to explain why I didn't have time to blog this recipe yesterday...So here's wishing my mummy dearest a very happy birthday. I'm celebrating it with you, virtually.

Recipe halved from here (originally from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
All purpose flour- 145 gms
Ground walnuts- 1/4 cup
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter- 113 gms + 1 tbsp for chocolate
Dark chocolate- 43 gms (1.5oz)
Coffee- 1/4 cup (1oz)
Instant Espresso powder- 1/2 tsp (I used 1 tsp because I like the coffee taste)
Sugar- 175 gms
Eggs- 2 large
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Whole milk- 1/2 cup
Mix together the flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
Break the chocolate into lumps and place it in a heat proof bowl along with 1tbsp butter, coffee and espresso powder. Place this bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
Keep the heat on low and once the chocolate and butter has slightly melted, mix well to form a smooth and creamy consistency. Keep aside to cool.
In a free standing mixer with paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat together the remaining butter and sugar till you form a lump free mixture. This wont be light and fluffy but should be a thick paste-like consistency.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition with the batter having a smooth and satiny texture.
In goes the vanilla extract.
Now reduce the speed to the lowest and add the flour mix and milk alternatively..starting and ending with the flour. You should have a smooth batter with no flour seen.
Pour a little less than half of this batter into the bowl with the chocolate and thoroughly mix it. Not vigorously.
Butter and dust a loaf pan and alternate spoons full of dark and white batter. I placed the white-chocolate-white as the lowest layer, then the second layer was chocolate-white-chocolate and then topped with a thin layer of white. Continue till about 3/4th full.
Swirl the batter with a butter knife right till the bottom, to get that marble effect.
Place in the centre rack of an oven pre heated at 176C and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Transfer to a cooling rack and after about 10 minutes unmould. 
Serve with some vanilla ice cream.
Notes: You can use normal instant coffee powder instead of espresso powder
There are various methods of doing the marble pattern. You can do an entire layer of white and then top with the chocolate and then do the swirl as well.
My cake was done in a little less than 45 minutes.

44 comments:

Priti said...

Looks so yum n perfect ....

Prathima Rao said...

A hilarious write up...Had a good laugh!!! And the cake looks divine & sinful & delightful!!! Belated happie bday to ur dear mom :)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Nithya said...

Wow.. lovely looking loaf. The chocolate and expresso should have been a great combo :) love it totally. Fantastic clicks :) Love the second and fourth one the most.

Belated birthday wishes to your mummy :)

Hari Chandana said...

Wowwww.. looks so soft and tempting.. thanks for the recipe dear !!
Indian Cuisine

Asha said...

One of my favorite cakes... but never incorporated Walnuts... Well many times I took the risk of possible burning the house down over shutting the oven off while baking when I have to go to the neighboring apt. in a hurry!!!

Kairali sisters said...

Marble cake is my ultimate fav Nisha and a belated birthday wishes to you mom...This looks simple awesome ketto :)

Sharmilee! :) said...

The marble swirls have come out so well...Looks so yummy that am tempted to have a bite

aipi said...

Yum, what a perfect creation !!!
I personally love marble cakes as they are simple to whip up and satisfy varied tastes! Nice addition of walnuts :)
US Masala

Nandini said...

Belated b'day wishes to your mom! The loaf looks very delicious and gorgeous too!

Suja said...

Wow! Yummy and beautiful...

Afsal_ Alif said...

hdn'ovr to the Kitchen, early morning & realizing that there's no milk or Sugar....Damn !Riotous.....ROTFL !

Treat and Trick said...

Beautiful and yummy cake, so moist and love its marble effect...

http://treatntrick.blogspot.com

Plateful said...

Delightful read and the pictures are a knockout! The fourth one's my hottie! And the recipe---I'll be back before baking. Soon, I hope, cos these days I'm inspired by so many recipes it's kinda tough to find the time to do all that cooking amongst other thing...:P

Happy Belated Birthday to your mom!

Ria Mathew said...

Nisha, I was trying to picturise what you must have been doing all through while I read your post! You are funny!

The cake does look moist and good. I love marble cake, for it's looks and taste :-)

Happy Birthday to your mom!

Ally said...

the effect marbley enuff to woo anyone a mouthful....

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

I love all the marble cake recipes I am seeing these days, inspiring me to make one myself, love your presentation as always dear :)

Padhu said...

Wow! You have done it so well .It looks irresistible

Swathi said...

As usual funny writeup,belated birthday wishes to your mom .cake looks moist and good. marble effect is visible.

Prathibha said...

Had fun reading ur post!!!
that loaf looks super moist n perfect..:)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Great looking cake ! no wonder kids kept on asking for more.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Jay said...

visiting your blog for the first time..u sure do have a lovely blog..great pics..very nice recipes..
Am your proud follower now..:)
do stop by mine sometime..

Tasty Appetite
Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

kitchenmorph said...

nice cake...nicer ramble...the pic of props my fave...and disorganized; yes enjoy every bit of it and never even contemplate a reform as you've already said! belated happy birthday Mommy!!

Satrupa said...

Belated Birthday wishes to your mom .... The clicks are awesome and so is the cake :) Love the layout and the props.

Vimitha Anand said...

That was a great read... Lovely looking cake... Nice combination of flavors..

Priya said...

Belated Birthday wishes to ur mom..Marbles cake looks damn delicious,spongy and fabulous..

JishasKitchen said...

I enjoyed reading your post and the cake looks so perfect and tempting...!!....loved it..

GB said...

Turning off the oven is something I would have done too---my husband thinks I'm paranoid! :)

Looks lovely..........

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Turned our perfect for u.... Looking gorgeous... YUM!

Nitha said...

Belated bday wishes to ur mom.. the cake is a real treat to celebrate...

Torviewtoronto said...

cake looks fabulous
happy belated birthday to your mom

Biny Anoop said...

hey dat was great....and i tot iwas the only one...but glad to have company....cake is really fab...marbled out well......

sinfullyspicy.com said...

I m a BIG mocha fan..and your marble effect has come out like a pro..looks moist and really good!

Rekha shoban said...

perfect marble cake!!nice click!

Sarah Naveen said...

Birthday wishes to your Mom gal!!! May god bless her !!!
Sometimes i wonder y i do grocery shopping? I wont have anything when i wanna make something ;)..

Your pictures are always to the point and perfect!!

Sarah said...

such pretty pics and such photogenic eggs :)
The cake looks oh-so-good! Im sure to gobble up the entire thing on my own. Ive paid hefty prices for being disorganised. Trying hard to take a U-turn though...

Sunshine And Smile said...

Oh dear! All well that ends well ;) isn't it ?. I was exactly like you .. after we shop for 2 hours and come home all tired only to realize that there is no cooking oil at home!! So, now every time something gets over, i have to make note and the nerd hubby uploaded some shopping list application in my iphone :D
This cake looks delicious and I am going to try this for sure !
www.sunshineandsmile.com

Kulsum said...

That's why I love your blog! Your's is story of my life and you put it in way better way than
I can :-D That cake looks MARVELOUS (pun intended)

Ananda Rajashekar said...

i see myself in ur first para ha ha! happy b'day to your mama cake looks wonderful..broken egg pic is class!

schmetterlingwords said...

Ha ha haa... I can very well identify myself with you... Unannounced visitors are a nightmare to me, as my kitchen too is not always loaded with stuff. Luckily, till now, I've never had unannounced visitors... touch wood!! But, you have managed very well dear. The cake looks very pretty. I haven't yet tried a marble cake, yours inspires me!!

sneha said...

Nisha, The shots are beautiful. I am a big fan of marble cake. I always write everything before I go for grocery shopping. But unannounced guests I would be very panicky.

Sushma Mallya said...

Cake has come out so well, Yum!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Lovely Marble Cake! I am glad that it turned out great in-spite of you turning off the oven and back on..

vinithasaira said...

awesome awesome! i so love tryin out ur dessert recipes and they all come out so well! thank god for u and the happiness u spread ! :D LOVELY PICS TOO :D

miri goes phishing! said...

that looks gorgeous n' so soft nish....don't know how I missed this post...i guess its too late to say wish Jagachechi from my side...:)