I love Marble cakes! They're so pretty and versatile. This wonderful recipe adapted from Sherry Yard's, 'The Secrets of Baking' was a simple and lusciously moist cake and perfect to try with a variation on flavors. With the basic Italian pantry liqueurs on hand it was easy to transform this into a recipe con l'amaretto. Amaretto is a sweet almond flavored liqueur which blends wonderfully with chocolate and the aroma of it is so alluring which is only enhanced more baked along side the white of the cake perfumed with pure bourbon vanilla.
For the icing I chose an Italian Whipped Meringue. Although this cake would be just as wonderful with a simple sugar glaze too for a not so formal affair. * Daisies aren't edible.. just fresh picked from the winter garden! :)
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Amaretto
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure bourbon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
* If you are using a dark colored bundt pan, make sure to reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). This is done because dark colored pans absorb more of the energy coming from the oven walls so the pan becomes hotter and transmits heat faster than light colored pans. Reducing the oven temperature slightly will help compensate for this.
Preheat oven to 350 ˚ and place rack in center of oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, a 10 inch bundt or tube pan.
In a stainless steel bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the semisweet chocolate with the Amaretto. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add beaten eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the pure bourbon vanilla and sour cream.
With the mixer on low speed alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
After preparing the batter, pour half of the batter into a separate bowl. Stir the melted chocolate into one half of the batter, mixing well. Place the batter into the prepared pan by alternating spoons of vanilla batter and chocolate batter. Then, with the end of a wooden spoon, gently draw swirls through the batter to marbleize it. Don't over mix or you won't have that wonderful marble affect.
Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake will keep for a couple of days at room temperature or it can be frozen.
Italian Whipped Meringue Frosting
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix 2/3 cup sugar and water together and bring to a boil until a temperture of 275 is reached on a candy thermometer.
Brush the cystals on the side of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in cold water as needed.
As the syrup reaches its temperature, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, 2 tabespoons sugar until the whites form soft peaks.
Remove syrup from heat add the syrup in a small stream while continuing to beat the mixture with the electric mixer.
Beat about 3 more minutes. The mixture will form glossy peaks and thicken.
Add the vanilla and mix a bit more.
Frost the cake immediately.
Ciao and Happy Baking Italian Style!