Martha Stewart Living, September 2002
Yield Makes one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup boiling plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch glass loaf pan; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing to incorporate after each one. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.
- Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Set aside one-third of the batter in another bowl.
- In a small bowl, using a rubber spatula, combine cocoa powder and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water. Mix until smooth. Add cocoa mixture to reserved one-third of batter. Stir until well combined.
- Fill the prepared pan by alternating large spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batters, simulating a checkerboard pattern. Run a wooden skewer or paring knife through batter in a circular motion. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool; invert after 5 minutes. Cool for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl using a wooden spoon, combine remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, the confectioners' sugar, and milk. Stir until smooth and pourable. Spoon glaze on slightly cooled cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the glaze dry for about half an hour, slice, and serve. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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