Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Roar Like a Tiger
The problem with Alice Medrich's recipes is that there are so many good ones that I often forget about older ones in favor of trying the latest and greatest. This recipe for Tiger Cake is one of my favorites, although I had forgotten about it until I read the blog post on Salt. Having been reminded of this cake, I couldn't wait to make it again.
This is a great cake to have in your pound cake arsenal. (Yes, in fact, I do have an collection of favorite pound cake recipes. Don't laugh at me please.) It's deliciously light and airy and very easy to make and it marbles itself. Don't ask me to explain. Just read the instructions below. The cake is made with olive oil and a bit of white pepper so it has a decidedly more sophisticated taste than your average pound cake. It's also very pretty, which is not to be underestimated. And it's very nice to serve in the morning toasted, if you're into that kind of thing. I know I am, unfortunately for my waistline.
I make the cake in two 6-cup loaf pans and then freeze one for later. It's perfect to pull out and serve with a cup of tea if someone stops by. Or, even if no one stops by.
Recipe: Tiger Cake
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup flavorful extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
5 cold large eggs
1 cup cold milk
A 10- to 12-cup tube or Bundt pan or two 6-cup loaf pans
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cake pan or line the loaf pans with parchment.
In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa, sugar, and water together until well blended. Set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly and sift together onto a piece of wax paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl (with the whisk attachment if you have it), beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and pepper until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Stop the mixer and add half of the milk. Beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.
Pour 3 cups of the batter into another bowl and stir in the cocoa mixture. Pour one-third of the plain batter into the prepared tube pan (or divide it between the loaves) and top with one-third of the chocolate batter. Repeat with the remaining batters. Don't worry about marbling the batters-that happens beautifully during the baking.
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes for either the tube pan or loaf pans. Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a skewer around the tube pan or slide a thin knife around the sides of the loaf pans to release the cake(s). Invert the pan(s) and invert again, setting the cake right side up on a rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Note: Natural cocoa powder is a must here. Dutch-process adds an unpleasant taste because it reacts with the leavening and the olive oil in the cake.