Monday, May 13, 2013

Marble Cake

I need a new baking pan. 

This one in the photos just burns any cake inside mercilessly. I wanted to try Martha Stewart's marble cake recipe and ended up with this wonderful cake. However, the edges got burned because of the pan I used. 

Well, I do not want to bore you with the details but if you burn the cakes which taste great but get burned on the edges for the third or fourth time in a row, believe me, it's not you. It's the pan. Get rid of that pan and get a new one. 

How to fix a burned cake:

Using a nutmeg grater cut off the edges or the base (it depends on which part of the cake is burned) and cover it with frosting or icing. Alternatively, find a fine metal strainer to rub against the burned surface. This will remove all the charred bits without having to cut or break the cake.

And here comes the marble cake recipe:


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a baking pan and set aside. 
  2. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
  4. In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
  5. Transfer the vanilla batter into the pan and then spoon in the chocolate batter in different part of the batter. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
  6. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wheat Flour Halwa without Water

When I read the title of this recipe and the directions, I thought it would be really easy to prepare it. No water added, no complicated techniques required, a piece of cake, I thought. Who wouldn't? 
I was wrong. 
Although the ingredients are quite easy to find and the directions super-easy to follow, there are two main difficulties you might have along the way. First, it might take really long for the flour to get the golden colour and you might get really tired stirring it and even give up at all. Secondly, even after you stir in the butter and sugar, the mixture might not be sticky enough which means it will be almost inpossible to shape the halwa. In this case, you should use the right brain and be creative, for example, add some warm milk until the halwa gets the right texture. I did. I managed to get the halwa shaped properly with addition of milk. 
However, please do not feel discouraged. I haven't complained about the taste, have I? The halwa was simply delicious! 

500 grams flour
500 grams powdered sugar
250 grams butter, in room temperature
pistachios to garnish

1. In a medium pan, stir the flour constantly over low heat until golden and remove from the heat. 
2. Stir in the margarine in chunks. Let it melt and get mixed with the flour.
3. Add the powdered sugar into the flour margarine mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended together. 
4. Transfer into a deep plate. Let it cool down. 

Pinch off a little bit of the dough and roll them between the palms of your hands into little balls. Sprinkle with ground pistachios and extra powdered sugar.
Cut into desired pieces or shapes using cookie cutters.
Using two tablespoons give halva some sort of spoon-shape and serve with pistachio sprinkle.
Place halwa into individual bowls. Sprinkle pistachios over each bowl.