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.
....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.'
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
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.