Lemon Chocolate EVOO Marble Bread
NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE.
Growing up, I observed my mom’s massive collection of international cookbooks. From appetizer, to main, to dessert, and everything in between was there – neatly standing side by side on her built-in book/nick-nack shelves – regularly dusted and looked at… by me.
Many times I recall, drooling over the pictures of many Italian cuisines and their desserts. One of them I remember in particular, is the olive oil and chocolate marble cake. Unable to speak English then, I could only marvel at the beauty of the marble cake. “How is this done?” I was puzzled, “I bet it’s hard.”
Thank God I grew up, being less puzzled (that helps) and… able to speak English 😀 Yay! … One day, I decided to get rid of the marbling effect intimidation factor once and for all. “I can do this,” I repeatedly told myself. And I conquered my fear, put on my apron and started baking. At the top of my lungs I shouted, “Marbling. Shmarbling!” Well that was today. No, just kidding…
This recipe for Lemon Chocolate EVOO Marble Bread is child’s play guys. It only looks complicated but it truly isn’t. The secret for making this bread taste simply wonderful is using good, pure vanilla extract and great quality bittersweet chocolate. Let’s not skimp on these 2 ingredients. Promise? I’m telling you: they sure make all the difference in the world.
Just so you know friends, I tried using grape seed oil one time to see if this cake tastes as good as using extra-virgin olive oil. Both oils are healthy, so at least you got that going for you. However, the taste of olive oil mixed with citrusy fruits such as lemon or orange is somewhat irreplaceable. Grape seed oil is almost too neutral for this dessert. It still tastes good but not ‘flavor explosion’ great. And we’re striving for great, right?
You can have what you prefer in terms of yogurt. You can put greek style yogurt or simply traditional plain yogurt. It sure contributes liveliness to the mix and keeps the bread soft and moist. The last thing I want to talk about with you is the marbling effect. Yep, back to that ‘only-in-my-head intimidating aspect’. What you need to have is simply a thin skewer or a skinny paring knife. You layer the white and chocolate batters and start making a continuous letter ’S’ pattern. I know right? What was I thinking… (I really could NOT help it, I was in elementary school then.)
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ fleur de sel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole-milk yogurt
- 2 lemons, grated and juiced (yielding about 3 tablespoons of juice)
- ¾ extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and fleur de sel. Set aside. In a large bowl, add sugar, eggs, vanilla, yogurt and lemon juice. Using a hand held mixer, beat the ingredients to combine. Keeping the motor running, pour the EVOO in to the mixture until smooth.
- Scoop out one-third out of the batter in to a clean bowl. Fold in the chocolate and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Lightly oil a 8.5-by-4.5-inch loaf pan. Fill the pan with alternating spoonfuls of the white and chocolate batters. And using skinny-bladed knife or thin skewer, swirl a continous letter S pattern for a full-on marble effect. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake pan onto the rack.