Monday, June 3, 2013

Marble Cake

Let me begin this post by warning you all that I do not do cakes. They always turn out lopsided and weird looking, so I've been a strictly cupcake girl for years. After my boyfriend, Noah requested that I make him a cake, I decided to leave my comfort zone for once. This cake did by all means not turn out perfect, but hey, it's an improvement! Maybe there will be further experimentation in the future.

My inspiration for this cake came from Will Arnett's character, GOB, on Arrested Development and one of his most popular lines, "I've made a huge mistake." If you haven't seen Arrested Development, you're missing out on one of the world's many fine creations and I suggest you watch the three original seasons, plus the 4th season made especially for Netflix that has become available for streaming within the past week.

I'd never made marble cake before this night. And yes, I do mean night. I finally finished this cake around 11 o'clock at night, so excuse me for the sloppy work. I normally wouldn't share work like this that I'm not so proud of, but this recipe honestly produced the best marble cake I've ever had. It was a perfect mix of light fluffy vanilla and deep, rich chocolate cake that was so moist it practically melted in your mouth. The middle layer of chocolate frosted perfectly complemented my grandma's own vanilla frosting. I don't know how that is possible, but seriously. This was amazing. I can't believe I gave this entire cake to Noah and his family and I only ate a piece. I probably would've eaten the entire thing in one sitting if I had the chance.

What you'll need:

For the yellow cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (and yes, this was actually the first time I used cake batter. Maybe that's what helped make this cake so good?)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

For the chocolate cake batter:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee

For the middle layer of chocolate frosting:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (at least. You might need more to reach a desired consistency)

For the rest of the frosting (my Grandma Pat's recipe!):

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk

Holy bajeesus. I know that's a lot of ingredients. And it's quite a bit of work, but I promise you that it was a ton of fun to make! 

To make:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease either 3 8 inch round cake pans, or 2 9 inch round cake pans (works best with two, but it's really up to you!). You can line the pans with parchment paper before you grease if you want assurance that the cakes will actually come out in one piece!
- You'll end up needing about 4 large mixing bowls for each lot of wet and dry ingredients. Get ready to dirty some dishes!
- In one mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the yellow cake batter. In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the chocolate cake batter. Set both dry mixes aside.
- For the yellow cake batter, cream together the butter,  eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and two tablespoons of the buttermilk. Once that is mixed well, add the rest of the buttermilk. Slowly add the yellow cake batter dry mix to this wet batter and mix.
- For the chocolate cake batter, repeat the same procedure as the yellow cake batter. Cream the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add the chocolate batter dry ingredients, then to help combine, slowly add the coffee. 
- Starting with the thicker vanilla batter, layer the two batters in each pan, or swirl with a knife if desired.
-Bake for about 25 minutes, allow to cool completely on a metal rack before frosting. 

Okay, mine didn't turn out as pretty as it could've... Better luck next time!

On to frosting! 

-First I trimmed each cake to make sure they wouldn't end up lopsided (I just learned this trick... Boy I was sure missin' out in the past!)
-For the chocolate frosting, beat the melted butter and cocoa powder together until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar and beat. You'll probably need more milk, which is no big deal. Just get it to a consistency that you desire. You'll put this frosting on top of the first layer of the cake, kind of making it a cake sandwich with a chocolate frosting center. 
-My grandma's recipe is pretty simple; Just beat all the ingredients together and frost!

So this was definitely an experiment that I'll remember. No, this is not the most gorgeous thing I've ever baked, but it was pretty tasty and it's opened doors to a lot of other things I might now try. Thank you Noah, for requesting this, otherwise I never ever would've even tried. Oh and thank you to Arrested Development, always and inspiration!