Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate Nut Loaf

Towering Goodness

My cousin Mel's Birthday was coming up and she wanted chocolate cake. Lo & behold, I had just the thing in my arsenal of great recipes. PH's Chocolate Nut Loaf.

Usual Suspects...

Being a simple loaf cake at heart, the regular actors are featured, with 1 rather unique addition to the cast.

...Plus One

Marzipan! The recipe actually called for almond paste, but this was in itself an uncommon ingredient and hence could not be found on the shelves of any supermarkets I searched in.

Short of making almond paste from scratch, I made the approved substitution as noted in the appendix and swapped it for marzipan. Softer and sweeter than its pasty cousin, I made the necessary compromise in the sugar department below.

Sugar Cubes & Sand

The instruction was to beat the marzipan into the sugar until sand results. With marzipan being softer than the paste, I was expecting this to be a breeze, but the marzipan held their own and would not cave.

I then resorted to use a rice scoop (pic on the above right) to smash and smear the marzipan against the grains of the sugar and the sides of the bowl, a rather intuitive approach, you would agree, if it only worked.

Plan B from thereon, was the rubbing in method, and after a good 15 minutes, I made sand.

Chicken & Cow

Aka eggs and milk go in next. The mix was supposed to resemble mayonnaise, but I think I made soup instead. No matter, at this point the fragrance of the marzipan was emerging and perfuming the mix with its floral aroma. No harm no foul.

Powders For The Party

Sifted powders was next, and the cocoa powder brought a deep, dark, rich earthen brown tone to the ensemble. A beautiful cake was emerging.

Nuts & Chocs

The walnuts were toasted to bring out their mild flavor and added crunch, and ooh-la-la dark chocolate chips tossed in with the nuts and gently stirred in.

Dark Beauty

The cake developed a peck towards the end of its baking time, a by now characteristic feature of PH's cake.

Taste Test: I did not pick up any strong almond flavor from the marzipan, instead it added a well balanced moisture to every bite, and the good quality cocoa powder was the defining touch to this rich and light cake. Well worth the try.

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