I would like a recipe for chocolate swirl cake with a creme de cacao frosting. Thank you.
Mary Jane Peabody, St. Petersburg
Kristen Richards of Sarasota shares a recipe she found online for a marble cake with a creme de cacao frosting. This cake is the best of both chocolate and vanilla worlds. If you've never made a marble or swirl cake before, it's very easy. It fun to swirl the batters together. Just don't overdo it, or there won't be a distinction between the vanilla and chocolate. The frosting is one of the lightest I've ever tried, like eating a cloud. Don't skimp on the mixing time, which results in the fluffiness. The creme de cacao adds a subtle flavor. Another 1/2 teaspoon could be added but not much more because, while the alcohol burns off a bit while melting the chocolate, too much liqueur could be overpowering. For the bittersweet chocolate, I used Ghirardelli, which melts beautifully. One key to melting chocolate: Always stir with a nonporous utensil such as a wire whisk. Moisture can remain in a wooden spoon, especially if there are cracks in it, and seize your chocolate, which cannot be fixed. You will have to start over. Also, if you're using the stove top to melt your chocolate, remember that low heat is your friend. Do not rush the process; overheated chocolate will become thick and lumpy. To line your cake pans with parchment, place your pan on the parchment and draw a circle around it with a pencil. Cut out the circle and place it, pencil side down, in the pan.
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Barbara Harrison, who is visiting from Colorado, recently had the gazpacho at the Crab & Fin restaurant in Sarasota. She would love the recipe. Deborah Nelle of St. Petersburg has fond memories of the Gondola restaurant and the antipasto salad. She says the salad was loaded with salami and cheese and had a delicious dressing. Stacey Whalen of Brooksville would like the recipe for a cookie with a caramel center, almost like cookie dough wrapped around a caramel. It was either a sugar cookie or snickerdoodle.
Recipes tested by Times Correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, PO Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city and phone number. Phone numbers will not be published.
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Marble Cake With Creme de Cacao Frosting
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
For the frosting:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon creme de cacao or other chocolate liqueur, white or dark
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper; butter and dust with flour. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. In a cup, mix the milk with the vanilla.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture and scraping down the bowl.
Mix 2 cups of the batter with the melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate. Scrape the remaining batter into the pans. Dollop the chocolate batter over the batter in the pans and swirl with a knife. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until springy. Let cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack. Allow to cool completely.
For the frosting: Melt the bittersweet chocolate in 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of creme de cacao and let cool. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Beat in the sugar at low speed. Beat in the remaining (1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons) of cream, vanilla and salt, then beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes longer. Beat in the cooled chocolate cream.
Spread 1 cup of frosting over a cake layer and top with the second layer; frost the top and sides. Let stand 1 hour, then serve.
Source: Kristen Richards of Sarasota