Chocolate & Honey Marble Cake | Origin
August 26, 2018
Welcome back everyone! Sophomore year has officially started and I am all settled in. This year, I've made it a point to occupy myself with more courses, workload, and activities. Hopefully, I'll begin to enjoy myself more and realize happiness in places I would never have thought could exist.
This post marks the last of the origin series I began this month. I sincerely hope everyone has enjoyed not only the bakes & shakes I've developed, but also the small bits of historical and cultural background I threw into each post. As a small piece of my past, each recipe in this series holds a special place in my heart and I am humbled to be able to share them with other people.
Today, I'm going to talk a little bit more about me. As you'll see, this week's bake is a symbol for the general trajectory my life has led up until this point. For those who can relate, I hope you find some comfort in my words. And for those who cannot, I encourage you to empathize with those who may be internally struggling to find themselves in this vast, vast world.
There is one question that, from a young age, has never failed to stump me. And no, it wasn't an impossible maths question, a nonsensical literature metaphor, or the ever so elusive physics concepts that caused me to stutter and falter in speech. My nemesis was something much more simple: "Where are you from?" For international students such as myself, the answer to this question is not a simple, one or two word response. Confused as to what I mean? Please refer to Exhibit A below.
"Oh, well you see...I lived in XXX for about 8 years of my life, but I was actually born in YYY because my parents decided to do some travelling. But I don't consider that home because for the past 10 years I've actually lived in ZZZ since my parents moved there for work purposes....OH but I guess I'm from XYZ by blood because my parents are actually from none the places I mentioned before and grew up halfway across the globe!"
In other words, I really never found out where I belong. Like many of my friends, I grew up surrounded by an American bubble surrounded by the chaotic beauty that we know as Shanghai. At some point in my life, I simply came to terms with the fact that I would neither fit into the typical cookie cutter international student nor the stereotypical Asian-Born-American. I was some sort of amalgam of the bits and pieces left behind by the culture and history of both these people.
Yet, I would not trade this part of me for anything else. Growing up in such a state meant I was forced to open my mind into accepting both cultures, its people, and myself. Now, I see nothing but benefits from being raised internationally. I would trade nothing for my upbringing amongst the brightest lights in the biggest city. I don't have to be the typical West Coast Bay Area Boy. I don't have to be the international student who for SOME reason speaks English without an accent. I can just be good ol' Bradley. I can just be me.
This week's bake is symbolic of the combination between the two cultures that make up who I am. Marble cakes take two batters of different colors and flavors to create harmony. The two flavors I chose for this bake, chocolate & honey, somewhat represent the two sides of my upbringing. Although the flavor profiles of these two ingredients are quite different, they work together to create something that brings happiness to the world.
Thank you so much for joining me this past month in discovering the origins of who I am in relation to food. It has been so humbling to look back into my past and the past of my people in order to create something unique to Brad & Butter. For those who have been with me during this time, I hope you enjoyed my bakes and shakes, as well as the content I come up with. I will be releasing next month's concept on Instagram soon, so keep your eyes open and ears peeled. Until next time!
For the Cake Batters
115g of butter, unsalted
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup (+2 tbsp.) of all-purpose flour
1 (+ 1/4 tsp.) of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
6 tbsp. of whole milk
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
3 tbsp. of honey (for the honey batter)
1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder (for the chocolate batter)
For the Streusel
50g of butter
30g of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of flour
2 tsp. of cocoa powder (for the cocoa streusel)
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light, and fluffy.
In another bowl, combine the milk, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry and liquid mixture in to the creamed butter alternatively, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.
Separate the batter into two approximately equal halves. In one batter, sift in the cocao powder and 1 tbsp. of honey and mix to combine. In the other batter, combine the rest of the honey and the extra flour and baking powder, mixing to combine.
Drop the batter in a lined loaf tin alternatively, until both batters have been used. Use a skewer to make random lines in the batter, creating the marbling effect.
Bake in a preheated 160C/325F for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cream the butter and sugar until light, pale, and fluffy
Sift in the flour and mix until the dough is flaky and clumps into small pieces. Remove half the dough and sift in the cocoa powder, mixing to incorporate.
Refrigerate until ready to use
Randomly scatter the streusels on top on the batter, making sure to cover the whole loaf
Bake in a preheated 175C/350F for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.