Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Martha Madness

Well.... I received the new Martha Stewart Baking Handbook in the mail the other day. I have read all the way through it... taking it to bed with me each night and devouring it like a sensational novel. I have read through each and every recipe and have come to conclusion that I must bake my way throughout this entire book. Yeah I know, just call me Julie.... well, on second thought, don't. Please.
A couple of other blogging bakers and I have decided to start a full out Martha madness blog... called Good Things. Alicat of Something So Clever is the mastermind behind this project and has been working hard to put the site together..... I have decided that for my contribution to Good Things I am going to bake every single little recipe in Martha's new book and post on all of them... I will also be testing out the Martha Stewart Kids stuff on Kathryn and reporting on that as well. I think it is going to be a neat "project" and I hope after this is all over I will have a good grasp of baking.... If anything maybe I will once and for all learn how to bake a MOIST cake....
Speaking of moist cakes.... here is one that was not. at all. so dry we almost choked on it.

Marble Cake with White Chocolate Glaze p65
1 Stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350 and generously butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.... set aside.

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 the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Set aside one third of the batter.

In a bowl mix together the cocoa and the boiling water to form a thick paste. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved batter and still until well combined.

Spoon the batters into the prepared pan in two layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter to simulate a checkerboard pattern. To create the marbling, run a table knife through the batters in a swirling motion. Careful not to get crazy with this... too much "swirling" and it won't look as beautiful.

Bake, rotating the pan half way through, until cake tester come out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Pour glaze over and serve.

White Chocolate Glaze p65
3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/4 ounces best quality white chocolate

In a small bowl, whik together the confectioners sugar and milk. The mixture should have the consistency of thin sour cream. Add in the melted and cooled chocolate and whisk until glaze is smooth. If it is too thin, add more sugar... if it is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately.

Now this is a pretty little darlin' and I was thrilled at the beauty of it when it came out of the oven. Even my jaded husband commented on how nice it looked. It smelled unbelievable and I knew it was going to be delicious. I was so damn sure that I decied to take it to a a friends house for after dinner dessert. I had to make the glaze on location but it is really a simple glaze so that was no big deal. We all finished up dinner and dove straight into the marble cake.... only to find the water had been drained out. Ouch.. this was a bad cake. A very bad cake.
Here is what I think went wrong......
1. I used special dark cocoa for the paste and the chocolate batter was just too.... chocolate-y. Too bitter.
2. I had a major brain fart and for SOME REASON forgot all about adding in the buttermilk until after I was completley done with the mixing and just happened to see it sitting there in it's measuring cup, poised and ready. The recipe called for the flour and buttermilk to be added in alternating stages... ending with the flour. Well, that didn't happen this time.... the buttermilk, all the buttermilk, went in at the very end.
3. I baked it too long. As usual.

Someone please make this and let me know how it comes out. Learn from my mistakes and give me the verdict on this little baby....

Comments on "Martha Madness"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 16, 2005 8:24 PM) : 

Yes, dry, but pretty. and We enjoyed having you over anyways. Love Ya . Dawn


Blogger Chan said ... (November 16, 2005 8:35 PM) : 

YEAH!! Dawn finally figured out how to leave comments!!!!!! :)

It was good seeing you all as well...
much love,


Blogger Alicat said ... (November 16, 2005 9:54 PM) : 


Okay, little lady. When you told me you were going to work through the Martha baking cookbook, I thought you would be doing it for Lick-the-Spoon, not Good Things! Do you have any freakin' idea how honored and EXCITED I AM??

I just ran out to the living room to yelp at my husband (busy xboxing) to tell him about your plan. It is so fun and great and exciting!

You are a rock star, my channy! ;)


Blogger Mona said ... (November 17, 2005 12:02 PM) : 

Wow, good things writers unite! My mom just bought the book and I got a glance at it over my weekend (tues/wed). Can't wait to read about your adventures in baking, martha style. And no, we won't call you Julie. I wish I could afford to bake my way through a cookbook ... you guys will have to help me come up with another Marfa inspired idea.


Anonymous Luisa said ... (December 02, 2005 1:29 PM) : 

I can't wait to hear about Good Things! Sounds like a fun idea. I love Martha and her recipes (esp. baking ones, and that cookbook is killing me because I want to own it and don't yet). The cake looks absolutely gorgeous - I wish I could have a piece. If I get around to making it, I'll let you know how it goes.


Anonymous Jessie said ... (November 27, 2011 4:43 PM) : 

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