carrying things ::::
Chocolate and vanilla swirled together reminds of of the twisty soft serve ice cream cones I used to get at Dairy Queen as a kid. This recipe is the cake form — marbled chocolate and vanilla, dense with butter and sugar. It’s too cold for ice cream right now (I can’t believe I actually said that), so cake it is. And the cake is even better with a hint of orange flavor.
A pound cake was named such for the amount of each of the main ingredients needed: about one pound of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs each. It was first reported in British baking books in the early 1700s, then later that century in American cuisine. Each cake was equipped to feed a large group, hence the seemingly monstrous size.
Currently, I feel I am carrying many pound cakes on my back as I study for my recertification Maintenance of Certification exam for PM&R. It brings back the stress of taking my medical boards exam almost 10 years ago. We are required to take it every 10 years to remain board certified. I hate taking exams. 1) I’m terrible at it. 2) My specialization within my specialty is BARELY represented on this exam. 160 questions for 5 hours without a break. There will be <1% questions on wound care. I’ll squeal if there’s one on pelvic floor dysfunction (urodynamics kind of counts). I’ll gasp if there’s one on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Because of the breadth of information, much of which I don’t use on a regular basis in my practice, I’m preparing by practicing a lot of study questions and reading review books. I’ve had to put aside my daily obsession with leisure reading. Without my nightly respite of a good book combined with the anticipatory stress of sitting in a testing center in pseudo-ergonomically adjustable computer station, I may eat those imagined pound cakes off my back only to find them around my middle by the end of the month.
I figure that’s all around good for my brain.
This recipe makes two cakes so really they are half-pound cakes.
The trick is to make sure that the butter is firm but isn’t too soft, or else you’ll end up with a runny batter that won’t swirl quite right for marbling. Lightly beat the ingredients together. Overmixing produces too much density. The light hand helps the ingredients rise some. There are no leavening agents in this recipe. There will be much levity after my exam!
I’m retreating back to my study hole until next month. I’ll be celebrating my blogiversary in February, though may be a few days late, given the exam.
*reviews brachial plexus*
*reviews types of aphasias*
*stuffs more cake into mouth*
One year ago: chimichurri sauce
Two years ago: salmon salad with roasted beets
Three years ago: savory one-minute steel cut oatmeal, green tea ginger beer, and pregnant pig bread
Four years ago: crockpot spinach dip
Five years ago: pandan-coconut-blueberry popsicles and homemade chewy fruit snacks
Six years ago: za’atar spiced beet dip with goat cheese and marinated manchego
Seven years ago: breakfast casserole and pasta with pork, pine nuts, and olives
I’m having trouble with my recipe plug-in since there were some upgrades, so I’ve included the recipe below without it.
Marbled Pound Cake – adapted slightly from alwayswithbutterblog.com
Prep time 10 min. Cook time 45 min.
scant tablespoon salt
454 g unsalted butter, softened
450 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange extract
9 large eggs
406 g cake flour, sifted
60 g cocoa powder
8 tablespoons hot water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Butter and flour two 5×9-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar together.
- Add in vanilla, orange extract, then mix in eggs, one at a time.
- Add in salt and mix.
- Fold in flour.
- Mix the cocoa and hot water in a small bowl and set aside. It will be somewhat thick and smooth. Mix it well until it is as smooth as possible.
- Divide vanilla-orange batter into two equal parts in two bowls. In one bowl, add cocoa-water mix and stir to combine.
- Pour half the vanilla-orange batter into one loaf pan, pouring into one side of the pan. Quickly add half of the chocolate batter to the other half of the pan. Use a skewer or knife and swirl the two sides together, creating loops and tendrils between the contrasting colors. Repeat with other batter halves in other prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven. Cake center will be set; check earlier to avoid overbaking. Do not overbake or cake will dry out.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cool, you can wrap one loaf well with plastic wrap and foil to freeze 2 to 3 months. Thaw in fridge before eating.