Editor’s Note: This column is being published on a Monday for this week only so as not to fall on Tisha B’Av.
Inspiration can come from unexpected places. For this blog post, that place was Seinfeld. Watching a re-run of “The Rye” — the episode where Jerry manhandles an adorable old lady and steals her marble rye — inspired me to bake my own marble bread. Since I was in the mood to make a dessert, I decided to go for a sweeter version of the same concept: marble loaf cake. I grabbed this recipe from easyjewishcooking.com (see recipe below).
The baking experience started out pretty smoothly. It was raining outside and a mob movie marathon was on AMC, so I was happy to be indoors, cooking, and enjoying Goodfellas while I measured and mixed. One of the first things the recipe required was to crack 5 eggs and pool the yolks into a bowl. With many mixing bowls and ingredients cluttering the 2 square feet of counter space in my kitchen, I decided to crack the eggs in the sink. This seemed like a brilliant idea, since I could pour the egg whites directly into the sink. While I watched the egg whites slide down the drain all I could think was, “Too bad it’s night time and I can’t save these egg whites for a low-calorie breakfast omelette.” Unfortunately, I didn’t stop to think whether I would be needing those goopy whites later in the recipe. By now I think you’ve guessed that those 5 egg whites did re-emerge later in the recipe. Ooops. After getting over my own stupidity, I ran through the rain and bought another carton of eggs. All in all I learned an important lesson — don’t just skim the recipe before cooking, actually read the whole thing.
So how does the whole experience rank? On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “bad” and 5 being “good”:
Prep time: 3
It took about 45 minutes to prep everything, including a quick jaunt to the grocery store for my egg-buying part deux.
Overall ease: 4
This recipe required quite a bit of prep time and required more counter space than I have in my bite-size kitchen. Cracking eggs into a bowl balanced on a stovetop burner gets a bit precarious.
Cook time: 4
The loaf had to bake for 50 minutes, which provided just enough time to clean up the mess I had made.
All the ingredients came to a little over $10, plus an additional charge of $1.50 for the second carton of eggs. Grrrr.
Maybe I’m still riding my kugel high from a few weeks back, but let’s just say that this marble cake, unlike Jerry Seinfeld’s prized rye, was not tasty enough to prompt petty larceny and elder abuse. Overall, the cake was too dry and not as fudgey as I would have preferred.
Marble Loaf Cake
5 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup oil
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup cold water or milk
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp. butter or parve margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an ungreased 10″ tube pan – line bottom with parchment paper. Beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla at medium to high until light and smooth. Beat in oil. Sift dry ingredients together. Add them, alternating with water, to the batter and mix only until incorporated. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold them into batter. Melt chocolate together with butter – use the microwave for this. Remove half of the batter to a separate bowl. Add melted chocolate to one of the bowls of batter and mix until blended. Pour white and chocolate batters into tube pan. Use a knife to cut through batters and swirl them around. Bake for 50 minutes on middle rack of oven.