This weather is weird.
The calendar says May. I am dreaming endlessly about rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus. The farmers markets on the other hand don’t feel like May. This weather still feels like winter. I am feeling all kinds of out of sorts which is why I made a marbled pound cake.
Marbled pound cakes make me thing of my mom. She has a tried and true recipe that she used to bring to the bake sale. It was a thing of beauty. Each slice revealed a swirl of black and white. It was dense and moist and I couldn't get enough of it. I still can’t get enough of it.
This version is what I would call an updated version of the classic. The use of olive oil instead of butter makes this cake lighter and brighter and also contributes some fruity notes. The pepper provides the subtlest hint of heat. These changes help to transform the classic but at the end of the day, it’s still an awesome marbled pound cake that everyone will love.
Marble Cake with Olive Oil
Recipe from Food 52
Makes 1 Bundt Cake or 2 Loaves
½ cup (45 grams) natural cocoa powder (non-alkalized, non-Dutch processed)
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
1/3 cup water
3 cups (385 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon finely ground white pepper (or black peper)
5 cold eggs
1 cup cold milk
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 10-to-12 cup tube pan with oil spray and dust it with flour. (Or 2 9x5 loaf pans.)
In a medium large bowl, whisk the cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, and water until well blended.
In another medium large bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder thoroughly and sift onto a piece of wax paper. Set aside.
In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 2 cups sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, 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.
Add three cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended. Pour one-third of the plain batter into the prepared pan and top with one third of the chocolate batter. Repeat with the remaining batters. Don’t worry about marbling the batters—that happens during the baking.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a skewer around the tube and a thin metal spatula (or knife) around the sides of the pan. Lift the tube and slide the spatula under the cake to detach it from the pan bottom. (If using loaf pans, just slide a knife around the edges and invert.) Transfer the cake to a serving platter. The cake keeps for several days, at room temperature, under a dome or wrapped in plastic.