Friday, December 06, 2013

Lizzie's Tiger Cake

My kids are great bakers. My youngest daughter's friend Lizzie is on her way, too!  Lately, Lizzie has been baking all sorts of recipes from my blog.  I am so impressed with her dedication and the willingness of her mom to allow her full reign in the kitchen.  I have a hard time letting my kids bake or cook completely on their own.  I just can't help myself and always want to show them the proper technique or help with putting pans in the oven.  I really need to take a lesson from Lizzie's mom and just let them "go for it".  That said, I did notice that Lizzie could use a little bit more knowledge in the "proper way to measure ingredients for baking" area.  We had Lizzie come over the other day for a lesson - we measured flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, chocolate chips, and more when we baked up a batch of my chocolate chip cookies.  She got a proper lesson in the use of dry-ingredient measuring cups versus wet-ingredient measuring cups. 
I know Lizzie loves this cake and I am pretty sure she has been waiting for me to post the recipe.  What's great about this recipe, besides how delicious it is, is that the eggs and milk are cold.  No need for room-temperature eggs...which is usually the case when baking.  This one is for you, Lizzie!

Tiger Cake
adapted from Alice Medrich,  Bittersweet

½ cup cocoa powder, natural (Not Dutch process)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil  (use a nice flavorful one)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon white pepper, finely ground
5 large eggs, cold
1 cup milk, cold

Pre-heat to 350 degrees F.   You can use either a 10 or 12-inch bundt pan or  2 6-cup loaf pans.  If using a bundt pan, grease and flour the pan; if using loaf pans, line the pans with parchment paper.   

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water together until well blended; set aside.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt thoroughly and sift together onto a piece of waxed paper; set aside.  

In a large mixing bowl beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and pepper until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat for 3-5 minutes until the batter is thick and pale or light yellow in color.  Slowly add one third of the flour mixture; beat on low speed until just blended, then add half the milk; beat on low until just blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk and the rest of the flour.

Pour two cups of the batter into another bowl and stir in the cocoa mixture. Pour one third of the plain batter into the prepared pan (or divide between the two loaf pans) and top with one third of the chocolate batter. Repeat with the remaining batters, but don't worry about marbling--it happens by itself during the baking. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about one hour and ten minutes for either the bundt/tube pan or the loaf pans. Cool in the pan(s) on a rack for 15 minutes. Use a knife or thin metal spatula to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan(s) to release. For loaf pans just lift out by pulling on parchment - for bundt pan, invert and invert again so the cake ends up right side up on the rack. Cool completely before slicing.