I never thought I’d admit this but here goes: I’m an early riser.
My 18 year old self just scoffed.
However, it is true. I like to be up and settling in to my first cup of coffee before 9 am. I prefer to do work and other rain activities before 12 pm. I really enjoy getting in a morning run and possible yoga session before 7 am.
Call me crazy, but there is something remarkably beautiful about being awake while (most of) the world is still sleeping. Right now, I live with a bunch of kiddies who sleep in till 12 pm and barely see the light of day. Silly kids, don’t they know they are missing out on the most perfect time of day? Granted, they don’t come stumbling home until about 4 am so I guess they earn the right to sleep in tragically late. But my old 24 year old bones can’t take that. I prefer to be cozied up in bed, makeup off, face scrubbed, and lights off by at least 1 am.
One of the reasons why I love my mornings is because you can squeeze in a little baking time before the rest of the house wakes up. Nothing says good morning like a warm marble loaf cake with freshly brewed coffee. Especially when you have a lovely young chap who is smiling back at you over the breakfast table (still auditioning for that part).
This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking:From My Home to Yours and it is a good recipe to keep in your back pocket. It doesn’t take long to prepare and can be made with the minimum amount of bowls. That’s a winner in my book. It is almost identical to my beloved Marble Bundt Cake (a la Dorie again) however it doesn’t use as much sugar. It has the same base sour cream cake though but uses less butter due to the cake’s size and structure. I think this would be a nice easy loaf to make right around Halloween for your kids and it would definitely prepare them for the impending sugar rush. Or maybe the morning before Thanksgiving, before the madness begins. It may seem small and unassuming but that is its charm. You don’t expect great things of it but it delivers a moist and firm bite without the dryness from other loaf cakes.
This might be one of the last recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s book. Gasp! I know, I know. However I have fully exhausted this book and it is time to reach out and find new books. There are multitude of books on the horizon and I need to mix it up. That doesn’t mean you won’t see Dorie’s book pop up now and then; I stick by my baking staples. I’m looking forward to testing new books out, such as the new book by famed Baked bakers, Alice Medrich’s new book dedicated solely to cookies, the Gourmet Cookie Book, and David Lebovitz’s new book. There are so many options! Are there any new books you have tried that you love? Share your reviews. I’m open to all suggestions.
Marbled Loaf Cake
Origin: “Baking: From My Home To Yours” by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1 ¼ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 ½ sticks (10 ounces) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
4 large Eggs
½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ cup Sour Cream
4 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 9×5 loaf pan, dust the inside with flour, and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about three minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another two to three minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Don’t be concerned if the batter curdles and stays curdled. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with dry ingredients), mixing only until each addition is incorporated.
Divide the batter in half and stir four ounces bittersweet chocolate into one half and keep the other half plain. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake the cake for one hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. If the cake looks as if it’s getting too brown during its bake, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake to room temperature right side up on the rack.
Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to four days.