STRAWBERRY Swirl CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar…………………...….3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract…………….…….1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda……………………….....…..1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TB strawberry jam, mixed with 1 TB flour
(if you want more intense flavor, you could add a few drops of strawberry extract too ~ or 1 tsp. strawberry gelatin ~ I like to add the strawberry gelatin because it will add color too)
1 tsp. instant coffee powder………………2 tsp. dark chocolate syrup
2/3 cup buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk ~ whisk in 2 tsp. white vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9” loaf pan (or 3 mini 5” pans) with non-stick baking spray (containing flour) and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla.
Whisk together flour, soda and salt in a small bowl. Alternate mixing in flour mixture and buttermilk to butter/sugar until it’s all in, and combined well (do on low, so flour doesn’t pouf out in your face). Scrape down sides of bowl and beater.
Scoop out a third of the batter and put it in a small mixing bowl; mix in the strawberry jam and extra 1 TB flour until combined well. Set aside.
Add the instant coffee, chocolate syrup and cocoa powder to the batter in the mixer bowl and beat until it’s well combined.
Use large spoon to scoop dollops of strawberry and chocolate batter into pan. I do chocolate on the bottom, then dollops of strawberry, and repeat (with chocolate on the top). Fill pans about 3/4 full. Use a long skewer or knife, to swirl the batter together. Give the pan(s) a quick tap on the counter to break any air bubbles.
Put the pan(s) onto a baking sheet (to catch any run-over). Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes (check mini-pans after 30 minutes), or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
I like to put a simple CHOCOLATE GANACHE on top: Heat up about 1/2 cup half-and-half or cream in a bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute. Take it out and add 4 squares of unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate to the hot cream. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
You could decorate with chocolate covered strawberries (use the same chocolate ganache) or slice fresh strawberries towards the stem (but not all the way through) and fan them out on top of the cake.