3 sticks (3/4 pound/12 oz/340g) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 81/2 x 41/2 x 21/2-inch loaf pans.
2. In a bowl, beat the butter at medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the sugar. Beat for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating 4 minutes after each addition and scraping the bowl. Stir in the extracts.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the batter. Beat with a spatula until smooth.
4. Mix the melted chocolate and water. Spread about 1/2 cup of the batter evenly over the bottom of each pan. Randomly dollop about one quarter of the melted chocolate on top. Drag the tip of a small knife through the batter once, back and forth along the length of the pan. Smooth the top. Repeat the layering of batter and chocolate three more times, dragging the knife through to the pan bottom each time.
5. Bake the cakes for about 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in their centers comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; turn out onto racks and cool completely.
Makes 2 (8-inch) loaves, 10 slices each.
The cakes can be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. The cakes can also be frozen for up to 1 month (thaw at room temperature overnight).
Date: January 5, 2005