24 June 2013

marble pound cake


Mondays are my first day back to work after my weekend. I start at 3am and only work with one other person for the rest of my 8 hours. An older man who is our dishwasher whom does not speak english. I do not speak spanish.

Despite our great age difference and language barrier, he is one of my favorite people to work with. We communicate in our own little way. We always say the same thing to each other every time he starts his shift. Hello, how are you? Good, you? Good. In spanish. Then it all transitions to unspoken communication. We always joke with each other, he pretends like he is going to knock over whatever I am measuring, pretends to grab what I am measuring out, etc. It's always fun.

I always make him baked goods. Whenever there is extra of something I made or testing a new recipe I give him it first. Then joke to my other coworkers Don Jose got his pick, now you guys can have the rest.

On Mondays, there is always a crazy mess of dishes left over from the weekend, ones that would take a seasoned pro like him hours. Then he helps me scoop my hundreds of cookies.

So on Mondays I always make him something special to take home. There has been banana bread, cinnamon rolls, a few cookies, normally just what we already make for orders. But today I decided to make him something completely different. An old fashioned marble pound cake. It one of those recipes I would call old school and have never actually made. I found a recipe and it came out amazing. Dense and buttery with a really defined contrast of dark and light.

So after it came out of the oven and I was showing off to him how pretty it looked, I shoved it toward him and said It's for you!
For me? he answered questionably. Yes!
Then I set it down to cool but there is still always that communication barrier that always means we really don't understand what each other is saying. So once it was cool, I wrapped in up and wrote a label on it with his name.

So as he was leaving he said again, For me?
Yes yes.
Oh thank you.
No, thank you.


Marble Pound Cake         
via Martha Stewart

406g AP flour
1 tbsp salt
454g butter, soft
450g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
9 eggs
59g cocoa powder
6 tbsp hot water

325F Oven. Butter and flour two 5x9 loaf pans. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with a whisk until light and fluffy. 
Add in vanilla then eggs one at a time.
Add in salt.
Gradually fold in flour with a spoon.
Divide batter into two. 
Combine cocoa powder and hot water, whisk until smooth.
Add into one batter portion.
Divide vanilla batter into the two pans, only pouring into onto one side.
Add cocoa batter to each pan on the other side.
Using a skewer or knife, gently swirl the sides together.
Bake for about 1 hour, until center of the cake is set.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


movita beaucoup said...

I am a new baker - just graduated from baking school last week. This post describes perfectly why I am transitioning careers from ballet to baking - it's a scene that repeats itself at bakeries (indeed, kitchens) everywhere. There's just something about giving someone a treat. A surprise. A thank you... perfection.

Anna said...

What a lovely story! And the poundcake looks lovely, I've never seen it split like that, it's usually all swirled. This is lovely because you can have chocolate, vanilla or both all from one loaf. Thanks for sharing :D

Tanusree said...

wow ! this looks gorgeous !

[eeny] said...

mmh yum. i love marble cake as i can never decide if i like vanilla or chocolate better.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Beautifully written! The swirls on the cake are beautifully asymmetrical!

Renee said...

I'm a pastry chef as well (gluten free!) and I totally get what you mean about dishwashers. Mine is deaf, but yet we totally get each other. I really need to step up my game and learn some sign language, but in the meantime, baked goods can bridge that barrier. Lovely post.

Margherita said...

This story is the best, just made my day. You should really try to learn some Spanish I bet he has thousand of stories to tell you!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is absolutely gorgeous!!

FilosofĂ­a de Sabor said...

Great story, that´s a relationship you´ll never forget. Maybe you can learn something using google translator to talk to him. I speak spanish but I can´t help you with fonetic :S

Carol | a cup of mascarpone said...

WOW! Absolutely gorgeous!!! Lovely!!!

tammy said...

Hi, beautiful story. Are you able to put regular measurements re: cup, tsp, tbl. alongside the grams? It would be so helpful. Thank you.

SreeBindu said...


Laura Dembowski said...

That's really cool you have an unspoken language with the guy you work with. It's very nice of you to bake him things. I bet he enjoyed this a lot!

Sarah said...

This cake looks about perfect. I love your unspoken jokes. So sweet.

Amy said...

This is so beautiful — the story, and the cake x

petal and plume said...

that is one totally perfect marble loaf..

Nicole said...

Delicious cake;))

welcome to my blog.

rebecca @ beurrista said...

Gorgeous loaf!

Monika said...

I love the story. Thank you for being such a nice person :)

Magda said...

Hi Julie. I just put this in the oven and suddenly I realized, I haven't put any baking powder in. There's none in your recipe. Is that correct?

Julie Marie said...

@magda yes its correct no baking powder.

Magda said...

Hi Julie. Even though I was surprised by the lack of baking powder in the recipe, it came out with a very nice texture, dense but not stodgy, buttery and thoroughly tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!