July 17, 2018

S'mores Marble Cake





Ingredients:

for the cake:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (2 crackers, smashed) graham cracker crumbs, divided use
pinch salt
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 cup hot water

for the glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


garnish:
mini-marshmallows


Directions:

for the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a standard (9x5) loaf pan. Set aside.


In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add it to the egg mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with milk. Pour roughly 1/3 of the batter into a second bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water and cocoa until smooth. Whisk into the smaller bowl of batter until fully incorporated. Set aside.

Stir half of the graham cracker crumbs into the vanilla batter. Spoon the batter into the pan, alternating spoonfuls (forming a sort of checkerboard pattern) until both batters are gone. Run a thin knife through it to marbelize once or twice.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.


to decorate:

Whisk together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cake. Top with remaining graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows.



My thoughts:
We've been watching the Great British Bake-off lately. What's airing here in the US right now is about 6 years old so that's a bit odd but luckily it is not a show that depends on fads. PBS has the "new" episodes but Netflix has what they call the GBBO Masterclass which just has Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry making versions of what were challenges for the contestants. It's a little odd (they flash to the competition occasionally but it isn't really worked into the baking "class" very much) and I wonder if maybe it was a web-only special? Anyway, all of this watching baking has made us really want cake!

The problem is that we are only a family of two so making a huge cake is tricky--there is no way the two of us can finish it! A few years ago I made a few loaf cakes and they are a pretty good solution. Much less final product for us to eat or have to giveaway. They seem to be popular with afternoon tea in England as well. I can see why you get a good number of servings out of it (about 8 slices) but they are modest slices and not quite as overwhelming as a whole bundt or layer cake.

For some reason, I've been obsessed with s'mores this summer so I thought I'd put a twist on an old favorite, the marble cake and s'mores-ify it . I added graham crackers to the vanilla batter to give it that distinctive flavor and sprinkled more onto the top of a chocolate glaze. Mini marshmallows complete the look. It really is a show stopper if I do say myself! Very tasty, good chocolate and graham cracker flavor throughout, fairly simple to make yet very impressive and fun to look at.




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