I wanted to make a cake out my bundt-like pan the other day so I thought I would try Marble Cake. I also wanted to try Marble Cake because the photo was really bad and I thought it would make a good photography lesson.
The cake mix was very thick so the cake was kind of dense and dry. You definitely need a glass of milk to wash it down! I think if you add some more milk or maybe even buttermilk, or perhaps some vegetable oil, the cake would be more moist. If I try to “fix” the cake then you will see a “revised” in the title of the post. For now, let’s get on to the recipe!
Special Equipment – hand mixer
1) 1/2 cup butter + about 1 tablespoon for greasing the bundt-like cake pan
2) 2/3 cup sugar
3) grated rind of 1/2 lemon
4) 2 large eggs
5) 2/3 cup milk
6) 1/2 cup cornstarch
7) 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
8) 1 teaspoon baking powder
9) 1/4 cup cocoa powder
10) 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Preparation and Baking
1) Turn the oven to 350 degrees. The book says 400 degrees but the cake will burn if you use that temperature.
2) Butter and flour a Bundt-like cake pan. The book uses butter and bread crumbs which I don’t think works as well. In addition, the bread crumbs can get into the cake mix but it’s your choice.
3) Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon rind together until light and fluffy.
4) Add the eggs one at a time with a little bit of the milk and mix well.
5) Add the baking soda, mix well.
6) Add the cornstarch, mix well.
7) Add the flour, mix well.
8) Fold the milk into the mixture except for 3 tablespoons.
9) Spoon half the mixture into the mold.
10) Add the cocoa powder to the half of the mixture still in the mixing bowl, mix well.
11) Add the rest of the milk to the mixture, mix well.
This is where I had issues. The batter for both the white and dark mixes was so thick, there was no way to make it “marbley” – i.e. stir the batter with a knife to make spirals of light and dark batter. So most of my cake came out chocolatey with a tiny amount of light batter on the top (because the mold was cooked upside down).
Tom thinks I should have fixed it before I posted this on the blog. I disagree. I had to change the temperature and the time in the oven but such a difference in ingredients is a fundamental flaw in the recipe. I don’t know if there was a translation issue, they use different measurements in Germany, or just bad recipe writing. In any case, I felt disappointed but not surprised. It’s no wonder that this book is out of print.
12) Add the other half of the mixture. Since the batter is thick, try to spread as evenly as possible into the mold using a rubber spatula.
13) Bake in the oven for no more than 45 minutes.
14) When the cake is done, place on a cooling rack.
15) Flip the cake over after cooling for ten minutes.
16) After the cake completely cools, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Here is the cookbook photo:
And here is my photo:
The cookbook photo cake looks great but what is that other cake with the almonds? And why is it in the foreground? The cookbook photo is a great example of what not do with a food photograph – add items that are unrelated that don’t tell the story of the recipe. I don’t know why they were put in there, maybe to fill up the frame. Don’t put items in your photos just to fill up the frame.
I believe the partial view of the white appliance on the side is a pressure cooker. There is no mention of a pressure cooker in the recipe. The confectioner’s sugar is okay. I don’t know what the apricot jelly/marmalade? is doing in the photo since that’s not mentioned either. If it was part of an add on to the recipe I could understand its presence but there is no mention. Maybe it’s supposed to add color. In the forefront is a picture of an orange, not a lemon which makes no sense either. None of these items are part of the recipe. None of these items tell the story of the recipe. They just confuse the reader.
Though my photo has less elements, my photo tells a story. I baked a cake and cut a piece out of it. I’m using a fork to eat the cake and I’m going to wash it down with milk. Some people would argue that I should have cleaned up the crumbs but I disagree. It’s not unattractive and I think it’s part of the story as well.
Till next time! Love, Ana