Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Marble Bread with Ganache Frosting

Servings: Makes 1 (8 x 4-inch) loaf
This lovely marble loaf is wonderful to serve at an afternoon tea or just for a weeknight dessert. The chocolate ganache frosting dresses it up a bit, so if you want to make it for a more special occasion, that would be fine.

1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz./226g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter an 8 x 4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl.

2. Melt 5 ounces of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

3. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar; raise speed to medium. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of milk. Mix until just combined.

4. Pour half of batter into melted chocolate; stir well. Alternating between remaining plain batter and the chocolate batter, drop large spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pan. When pan is filled, use a table knife to cut through mixture with a swirling motion.

5. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. (If bread browns too quickly, tent with foil.) Let bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of bread to loosen; unmold. Let cool completely on rack.

6. Make Ganache:
Put the remaining 3 ounces chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just about to simmer. Pour cream over chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Using a small offset spatula, spread ganache over cooled cake; let stand until set, about 1 hour. Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Makes 1 (8 x 4-inch) loaf.

Date: November 21, 2006