The first course that I prepare for any dinner party is dessert. I focus on the baking. The smell of a cake in the oven is inspiration enough for the rest of the menu to fall into place. I know this sounds crazy.
When I was hosting a few friends last week, I baked a flourlessVanilla and Chocolate Marble Cake for dessert. This was served with a spoonful of brownie ice cream. So with every bite there was rich and dense chocolate, a hint of cream cheese which making it taste part cheesecake too, and of course the ice-cream.
The best of two worlds in one. The luscious swirls of chocolate around a divine vanilla scented cream cheese batter. This cake is pure indulgence and every bite is a party for your tastebuds.
- For the vanilla batter:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- For the chocolate batter:
- 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. dark rum or espresso
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pinch table salt
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Lightly grease a 9×2-inch round cake pan and /or line the bottom with parchment.
- Make the vanilla batter:
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.
- Make the chocolate batter:
- In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave.
- Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. With a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, rum or espresso, vanilla, and salt on medium high until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 4 min.
- With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.
- Combine and bake:
- Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan.
- Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula or a toothpick gently swirl the two batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended.
- Tap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.
- Bake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 min.; don’t over bake.
- The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. Let cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Loosen the cake from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert onto a large flat plate or board. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment. Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving).
- Invert again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze