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Between The Two | The Go-To Frittata

Between The Two | The Go-To Frittata

Frittata | Delightful CrumbI come today with the most straightforward of recipes, for a moment in which things feel to me both immensely complicated and desperately simple. Politics, immigration and our nation’s ongoing inability to communicate across disagreement loom large. Yet it is summer, and for me, that conjures memories of simplicity at its finest: long days unfurling without obligation, family vacation, a sense of ease, produce that lends itself to the most minimal of preparation. Ben and I came home from vacation a little over a week ago, rested and lighthearted, to the first wave of mind-bending, heart-breaking news about our southern border. I need only to assemble my dinner with ingredients so gloriously perfect as the ones I picked up at the farmers market this morning, yet people are still going hungry and homeless on the route where I take my daily run. Today, I am healthy and whole, but that’s not the case for the friend who calls in need.

The truth is, it’s here that we live—between the two. Sometimes, we feel one more than the other: everything feels easy, or everything feels hard. Other times, the tension is what dominates. But ultimately, complexity and simplicity, struggle and ease, sorrow and joy—they are here with us, intertwined, all the time.

I’ve struggled to come to terms with this. There was a time when I thought that life would, or could, be easy. Then, when I realized my naiveté, I assumed that difficulties and sorrows would come and go, and I just had to get through those tough seasons to the light on the other side. But now I’ve come to see that life is all of it, mixed up together, and somehow we must leave space for lament and contentment to coexist.

So here’s my bid for embracing the good even when there is bad, for opening our hearts and homes even when the world seems hostile, for pulling family and friends ever closer despite the fact that loving means risking loss, for speaking kindness when criticism and sarcasm have made positivity seems passé. It’s okay to enjoy what we’re given in this life despite the brokenness around us. You can eat the first fig of summer with gusto and still show up at the rally. We don’t have to choose—and in the end, we can’t.

And so I offer one more thing to add to your repertoire of simplicity this summer. If you need an easy dish to set alongside slices of juicy summer fruit at brunch, or something filling to go with a piled-high tomato salad and a fresh loaf of bread at dinnertime, I suggest this frittata. After cycling through many different recipes, I’ve found my perfect frittata ratios, to which you can add whatever produce is in season or on hand. This spring, I used fava leaves and green garlic and spring onions. Now, in early summer, new potatoes and vibrant spinach can take center stage. Use what you have, and lean into whatever ease you may have this summer.

Frittata | Delightful Crumb

Go-To Frittata

Informed by recipes from Sara Forte in The Sprouted Kitchen and Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer in Golden

The first frittata recipe that I truly loved was Sara’s, from her first book, The Sprouted Kitchen. I found the ratios perfect and the filling (sweet potatoes, spinach, goat cheese) delicious. Later, I made the recipe for maakouda in Golden, the second cookbook from the owners of London’s glorious Honey & Co., and loved this, too, with its bright pop of flavor from capers and a hearty inclusion of herbs. I saw that the two held to similar ratios and realized I’d found my perfect frittata formula. Here’s my version. You can leave out the capers if they’re not to your taste, use red pepper flakes rather than Aleppo if that’s what you’ve got, add other spices, swap in different produce, use feta rather than goat cheese or skip the cheese altogether—the options are endless!

2 medium potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for the potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion or 3 spring onions, sliced thinly
3 stalks green garlic or scallions, sliced thinly
Big handful spinach, fava leaves or zucchini flowers
8 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
Pinch of Aleppo pepper
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
Small bunch parsley, chopped
3 ounces goat cheese
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt, then cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes, until cooked through but not falling apart. Drain and allow to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron or other oven-safe pan. Over medium heat, cook the onions and scallions or green garlic with a pinch of salt until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Place the greens or zucchini blossoms on top and allow them to wilt, about 1 minute. You can put the lid on the pan to encourage the process.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, capers, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes and a generous amount of black pepper. When the ingredients are well combined, with no streaks remaining, pour the mixture into the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Nudge the ingredients so that they’re nicely distributed as you allow the frittata to cook for a few minutes. Top with the crumbled goat cheese. Turn off the heat and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for about 15 minutes, until the top is nicely set.

Allow the frittata to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving, with hot sauce alongside for those so inclined. It is also delicious at room temperature.

Live the Questions | Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

Live the Questions | Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts | Delightful CrumbRecently, a friend and I were discussing a common theme in our lives, one that I return to again and again with friends these days—what’s next, and when? And how, exactly, do we answer those questions? My friend referenced a quote, something Krista Tippett had talked about on her podcast or in her book, though she couldn’t recall the source of the quote itself. The idea, though, stuck with her: when we don’t know what to do, it is enough to just sit with the questions, to hold them as we go on living our lives. And then one day, we’ll find we’ve arrived at the answers.

She texted me the next day with the full quotation from Rainer Maria Rilke, and I couldn’t believe how I’d missed in her delivery that these are words I know by heart. I wanted to see how far back I’d loved this passage and found it posted on my old, post-college blog in July of 2010. I remember, then, finding hope in this idea that my life might someday make sense, reminding myself to have patience. And the point is, to live everything. I’ve repeated this to myself often throughout the years.

But nearly 10 years on, in a different season, this sentiment coming at me through the back door as I sat drinking a glass of wine with a friend, it meant something entirely new. Since then, I’ve figured some things out, but today the stakes are higher and the questions bigger, weightier. I’ve analyzed and over-analyzed them; I’ve written notes; we’ve talked them to death and still they rise. I don’t have the answers. And I like answers. My heart sinks—what is it I’m doing, anyway?

Yet. What if we don’t search for answers but live the questions? I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but at the very least, it sounds like a relief.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign tongue. Don’t search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

And you know what? It’s true. If I really think hard about the questions I had at 23, it turns out that I have, indeed, lived into the answers. At that point, “everything unresolved” included, for example, the trajectory of my relationship with my brand new boyfriend, Ben, and how I might find my way to the next big career adventure I dreamed of, and my longing to experience life in another place. I have lived my way right into these answers—and beyond.

Likewise, these tarts. I baked them first in 2011, when I was over the moon about everything from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. The diverse flours were new to me, whole grains weren’t yet mainstream and I wasn’t a confident baker. I made them for our dear friends Josh and Sara, which I was reminded of last week, when Sara and I were texting about recipes for rhubarb, a shared love—though she is lucky enough to have an abundance back in Michigan, while I’m desperately combing through shops and markets to get my hands on a couple pricey pounds here and there. This is, perhaps, why I so rarely go back to an old rhubarb recipe these days, always wanting to try something new with the few purchases I’ll make each spring. I hadn’t made these tarts for a long time, but I still love rhubarb, cornmeal, a good galette, any dessert you might call rustic. Some things are the same—but others are not. And so even a familiar dish is different a few years down the line.

I’m both young and lucky enough to have had only a handful of truly difficult seasons, but they’ve mostly taken place in the last six years. And when I ask what’s next? those experiences come flooding back. My monkey mind tells me that next time I leap, the same crises will follow. Yet the truth is, even if I am confronted with exactly those challenges again, it won’t be the same. Because I am not the same. Ben and I are not the same. Thank goodness for my twenties—but I don’t live there anymore. We can live the questions without fear of the old answers.

So here’s to rediscovering the same truths and the same recipes and the same challenges, over and over again—exactly the same, but not the same at all.

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts | Delightful Crumb

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

Adapted from Kim Boyce’s Good to The Grain

Makes 10 small tarts

I love the corn flour and cornmeal here. The corn flour allows for more of that lovely corn flavor without the graininess that would come with more cornmeal. The finished tarts are not too sweet, making them appropriate not only for dessert but also for breakfast or an afternoon bite. Alternately, add a little more sugar to the compote—up to 3 tablespoons, as noted in the recipe. (I dialed it back both for my preference for tart rhubarb desserts and because I scaled down the compote recipe but wanted to keep to easy measurements—15 tablespoons would be the correct equivalent from the original.) These are also delicious with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

1 cup corn flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 egg yolks

1 batch Rhubarb Vanilla Compote (recipe follows)

To make the dough, place the dry ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixture, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, and stir to combine. Add the butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed to break up the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is as coarse as cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and egg yolks and mix to combine. The dough will be crumbly, but when squeezed between your fingers, it will come together easily. The dough is best shaped right after making it. If you’re not ready to assemble the tarts, refrigerate the dough, then bring to room temperature before shaping.

To shape the tarts, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour your work surface. Start with one piece of dough. Using the heel of your hand, flatten it into a rough circle about 5 inches in diameter and of even thickness. Flatten the edges downward for an elegant finish.

Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the rhubarb compote into the center of the dough. Fold the edge of the dough up toward the compote to create a ruffled edge. This is a rustic tart, so it doesn’t need to be perfect!

Slide a bench scraper or metal spatula underneath the tart and transfer it to a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Put the pan with the shaped tarts into the freezer to rest and harden for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 weeks if wrapped tightly in plastic.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Transfer the tarts to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the edges of the tarts are golden brown.

Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature. They can also be wrapped tightly in plastic and kept for 2 (or so) days. Ice cream or whipped cream make excellent accompaniments.

RHUBARB VANILLA COMPOTE

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb

3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (plus up to 3 tablespoons more if you’d like a sweeter compote/tart)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim the ends. Unless the stalks are very thin, slice them in half lengthwise. Cut them on a bias into about 3/4-inch pieces. Set aside 1 1/2 cups and put the rest (about 3 cups) into a medium-sized heavy pot.

Add the brown sugar and vanilla to the pot, stir, cover and place over medium-low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, covered, until the mixture is saucy.

Remove the cover and increase the heat slightly. Cook for 15 to 17 minutes, stirring often, until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining rhubarb to the pan. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat. Pour onto a large plate or baking sheet to cool. If you aren’t using the compote right away, put it into a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. If you have leftovers after making the tarts, enjoy with yogurt for breakfast.

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts | Delightful Crumb

On Time & Toast | Whipped Ricotta Toasts

On Time & Toast | Whipped Ricotta Toasts

Whipped Ricotta Toasts | Delightful CrumbThis year has been moving quickly over here in my corner, but I’ve struggled to put my finger on why. I often mark seasons with trips, visitors and big events, and I’ve had few of these so far. The weather has been strange, slipping into warm spring temperatures for a day or two, then back to clouds and rain. People with kids often say that time moves more quickly when there’s a growing little one who physically marks the passage of time. While I have no doubt that this is true, I’m beginning to suspect that our experience of time also begins to shift around the ages and life stages when many have children. I imagine it has something to do with being several years from school or academia, accustomed to the routines of work, used to the way the week ebbs and flows, weekends like a rising tide.

I can’t say I’m comfortable with this sensation. I want to catch time, wrap my hands around my life and stare at it, see it, just for a moment, keep it from slipping through my fingers. And yet. We all know this is impossible.

More possible, though, is leaning into the moments that we do have, celebrating and enjoying time rather than seeing it as something we’re losing. And that, my friends, leads us to dinner.

We all have to eat, but dinner can be stressful and far from a joy. At the end of a long day or week, it sometimes feels like just one more thing to do. As for me, I generally enjoy making dinner and certainly relish the act of eating it, but the very idea of cleaning up can be too much to bear if I’m feeling weary.

Enter toast.

It’s no secret that I love a good slab of toast—and more specifically, a good slab of ricotta toast. But can you really blame me? It’s the easiest hack I know for making a dinner feel special, whether it’s the appetizer for a festive gathering or the main event for a quiet weekend dinner that I want to make special without too much effort. This version is one of my simplest yet. The ricotta preparation comes from the “Go-To Recipes” section that opens Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons. It’s a brilliant book all around, and there are lots of secrets tucked into this early chapter, building blocks to have at hand for easy, beautiful meals.

The first time I made whipped ricotta, I topped the toasts with a mixture of thinly sliced snap peas combined with lots of herbs, lemon and pistachios. That was lovely (and a little something like this—which strangely, serendipitously, comes with musings from two years back that have much to do with what I’ve said above). But the ricotta is luxurious enough on its own that I thought it deserved to star, as it does in the following recipe, in an even simpler preparation. Here, I suggest just flaky salt, cracked pepper and chives or another soft herb. You could also add chopped toasted nuts, a thicker layer of herbs, thinly sliced radishes, ribbons of zucchini or cucumber, that fancy salt lingering in your cupboard or slices of ripe tomato as soon as they hit the markets. Ultimately, the ricotta is rich and flavorful enough that it’s best to use simple, light toppings—or none at all.

As for other uses for the whipped ricotta, the possibilities are endless. Swipe it on a large platter before topping with any sort of salad. It would be lovely with thinly sliced fennel and radishes, roasted carrots or sweet potato topped with toasted nuts and/or seeds, a tumble of tomatoes with basil, a simple leafy salad. Add a dollop to liven up a green, lentil or grain-based salad at lunchtime. Use it as a rich dip for raw vegetables and thin toasts. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding ways to use this up!

But most importantly, relish it. Take an extra minute as you assemble dinner to rest in the goodness of the nourishing food on your table and the loved ones with whom you eat. When you sit down at the table, savor a bite to remind yourself you’re here, in the midst of your life—which is meaningful whether it feels that way or not. We do well not to miss the simple glory of being alive.

Whipped Ricotta Toasts | Delightful Crumb

Whipped Ricotta Toasts

Ricotta recipe adapted from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons

12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese (I like Bellwether Farms ricotta, which is conveniently packaged in this amount)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Zest of 1 lemon, optional

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional

Sourdough bread

Flaky sea salt

Chives (or another soft herb), minced, optional

First, make the ricotta. Put the ricotta, salt, about 20 twists of pepper and the lemon zest, if using, in a food processor. Start to process. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil. Pause to scrape down the sides of the food processor and to taste the mixture. You want the flavor of the olive oil to come through. Adjust to taste with more salt, pepper or olive oil, then process again. When the ricotta tastes delicious and is silky smooth, scrape it into a bowl and set aside.

Then, toast the bread. Cut slices about one inch thick; halve them if very large or if appropriate for how you’d like to serve the toasts. In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, warm a generous pour of olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry the bread in the skillet until it is dark brown, a couple of minutes per side, working in batches if necessary. Place the toast on a baking sheet to cool slightly, layering it with a paper towel if there’s any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt.

When the bread is cool enough to handle, top each slice with a generous sweep of the whipped ricotta. Finish with flaky sea salt, plenty of freshly cracked pepper and chives.

Leftover ricotta can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Hello, Spring! | Asparagus Four Ways

Hello, Spring! | Asparagus Four Ways

Asparagus 4 Ways | Delightful CrumbSpring, for me, is when food feels most profound. The produce that emerges at this time of year is vibrant and bright, a burst of freshness, perfectly reflective of the emotional state that we find ourselves in after a cold, rainy and/or snowy winter. The idea of life emerging from the earth is pronounced after a winter of root vegetables and rock-hard squash and cellared apples and hearty greens that withstood the chill. It’s not such a stretch of the imagination that those could be pulled from the earth, but the produce of springtime? It seems miraculous. Here, now, are these most delicate leaves and shoots, berries on their heels, herbs that demand careful handling, life that reminds you in the palest green of its newness.


Recently, a friend who is in the midst of an excruciatingly difficult time asked a question about how, actually, one trusts—in this context, in God, but you can apply the concept regardless of what sort of divine being you do or don’t believe in. Cliches aside, what does that really look like? What do you do? The question stopped me in my tracks. It is an essential question, one that I, too, have asked in the darkest seasons of my life. And when others suffer, when hope feels slim, when the world looks more fierce than kind, I find myself asking it again—because of course I haven’t found an easy answer.

While catchphrases might be tempting in brighter days, when we are actually in the thick of it, we are very aware that whatever the answers might be, they surely are not simple. As for me, I have touch points and tools and routines. I have people and words I can lean on. These things resemble an answer. But especially in the bleakest of times, I think that trust, in its simplest form, looks like waking up each day and getting out of bed and carrying on anyway. It is as hard and as easy as this.


Spring reminds me that hope is not in vain. An answer, some sort of resolution—whether or not it’s the one I hoped for—will always come. Life emerges. The cycle continues. Winter might last for a really, really, really long time, but spring always comes.


Though we have no such thing as snow here in my part of Northern California, springtime has been slow to arrive this year, and I grew weary of March’s incessant rain and the draftiness of my apartment. Most of the springtime produce is yet to come, hiding in the ground since it’s been colder here than usual, but when asparagus appeared at the market a couple weeks back, I knew spring was on the horizon. Here are four ways to prepare it as we wait for the sun, springtime, Sunday morning. Wishing you hope this Easter and springtime.

Four Ways with Asparagus

RAW

Sliced or shaved thin, raw asparagus is a delicious thing. Trim or snap off the woody ends, then use a y-peeler to make ribbons (I find this easiest if I put the asparagus along the edge of the cutting board so there’s some wiggle room between the peeler and the countertop on one side), or slice in thin coins (1/4 inch thick at most). Add raw asparagus to salads, put it on toast rubbed with garlic and topped with ricotta or goat cheese, or throw it on a pizza before baking. Or, serve it as a little salad on its own, tossed with a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice or red wine vinegar, a dab of mustard, salt and pepper. Feta and/or toasted pepitas would be a nice addition here, too.

BLANCHED

Often overlooked, blanching or boiling vegetables can yield a lovely result, particularly when the subject is at its freshest. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot (or a sauté pan deep enough to hold a couple inches of water). Trim the ends of the asparagus, and either keep whole (the prettiest presentation) or slice on a bias into 1- or 2-inch pieces. Place the asparagus in the boiling water. Cook for just 1 to 3 minutes, until bright green, then drain in a colander. Finish simply with good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, flaky salt and freshly cracked pepper. A few soft herbs are an excellent addition (pictured). Or, take it a step further: chop a big handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, mint and/or chives. Place in a small bowl and pour in olive oil to cover. Add the zest and juice of a lemon and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Optional additions include chopped capers, chopped toasted almonds or pistachios and/or finely grated Parmesan. Spoon this mixture over the asparagus for an elegant, brightly flavored dish.

SAUTEED

Classic but delicious. Trim the ends of the asparagus and either keep whole (a little unwieldy but totally doable) or slice into 1- or 2-inch pieces. Warm olive oil or butter in a large sauté pan. Add the asparagus and sauté for a few minutes, anywhere from 3 to 10 depending on your preference. Toss in minced garlic and/or red pepper flakes for the last minute of cooking if you’d like. A squeeze of lemon is a nice way to finish; salt and pepper are essential. This is lovely alongside scrambled eggs.

ROASTED

Could a side dish be any easier?! Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss trimmed whole or sliced asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the asparagus is tender and lightly browned or burnished, to your preference. You could also add red pepper flakes, garlic (though this is slightly risky as it can burn at high heat), lemon zest or Parmesan before baking, or top the roasted asparagus with breadcrumbs and/or Parmesan, Feta or goat cheese.

Cake Is The Remedy | German Marble Cake

Cake Is The Remedy | German Marble Cake

Marble Cake | Delightful CrumbI am here today to talk about cake. Because cake, if you ask me, is essential. Life is hard and busy and often confusing; the pockets of calm and perfect clarity are rare and short lived. Though the temptation is persistent, I’m determined not to wait for vacations and date nights and holidays and the achievement of lofty goals to enjoy life. We need routine and everyday life to sparkle, too.

Enter cake, preferably during the day. My love of simple cakes is well and thoroughly documented, so perhaps you could wonder what more I might have to say. Forgive any repetition, but here I go again.

In my opinion, afternoon is the ideal time for cake. In many other countries, they understand this, but here in America, we lag behind. Sure, I love to have something sweet at night, but I usually reach for dark chocolate, dates, citrus in winter, berries in summer. At this point, I certainly hope to be satiated from dinner. In the afternoon, however, when one is feeling peckish, deep into the day’s work, perhaps desperate for a break, in need of something warm and/or caffeinated, cake is the remedy.

I’m trying to be more intentional about both rest and inviting people into my home this year. I’ve never been good at pausing from work and to-do lists but know this is an essential practice, one I’d regret not cultivating. And as for the latter, I love hosting and cooking for others, and it brings me tremendous joy, but I too easily hesitate—I don’t have time to tidy up, I should make an elaborate meal, I want to plan ahead, I have other things to do. But these are rather silly excuses in the face of something joyful, life-giving, communal.

And so, I’ve been inspired to host friends for Sunday afternoon cake. Not only does this involve both rest and hosting, but it also has the benefit of not necessarily lasting all night—because the truth is that sometimes we do not have time for six-hour dinner parties, and also some of us do not have dishwashers.

There is much talk of cake in Luisa Weiss‘ lovely book, Classic German BakingGermans understand the importance of cake. They even have a name for the afternoon coffee break, God bless them: Kaffeezeit, or “coffee time,” where cake plays a starring role. All of this makes me very proud of my German heritage, and perhaps explains something about this obsession.

I thought my Sunday afternoon cake idea was quite clever, but then, as I sat down to write this post, thoughts organized and cake baked, I flipped through Luisa’s book and stumbled across this paragraph: “For Germans, the next step to getting to know others isn’t getting together at home for cocktails, like in France, or for dinner, like in the United States, but inviting them over for cake and coffee on a weekend afternoon.”

WELL! Apparently, this whole cake thing runs deep in my German blood. Or rather, it has married with the bit of British in me, and the collision of tea time and Kaffeezeit has created something unstoppable.

I did know enough about German tradition to turn to Luisa’s book—which is full of gorgeous simple cakes—when I decided that I wanted to instate a Sunday afternoon cake tradition. Way back in 2015, I tested some recipes for Luisa while she was working on this cookbook. One was her Gugelhupf cake, and I’ve wanted its namesake pan ever since. A couple of weeks ago, full of weekend cake fervor, I ordered one and went straight to this marble cake. I love its dramatic peaks and swirls, its heartiness and restrained sweetness and glorious crumble.

We ate this on a Sunday afternoon with dear friends, passing around their baby as the sun sank down, lingering long enough to pop open a bottle of pink bubbles, rested and happy and full.

Marble Cake | Delightful Crumb

Marmorkuchen (Marble Cake)

From Luisa Weiss’ Classic German Baking

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

The mention of white chocolate made me hesitate, but Luisa explains in the headnote that this doesn’t make the cake taste of white chocolate but instead adds a richer, toastier quality to the white cake—I found this to be true. I am a bit of a novice at swirling marble cakes, but I think it’s actually rather hard to make a mess of this, so don’t worry too much.

This cake benefits from a rest, so you can make it one day before serving if you like. Leftovers will keep, wrapped tightly in plastic, for three days at room temperature.

3 1/2 ounces (100 g) bittersweet chocolate (minimum 50% cacao), chopped

3 1/2 ounces (100 g) white chocolate, chopped

18 tablespoons (250 g) unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, softened, plus more for the pan

1 1/4 cups (250 g) cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs, at room temperature

2 cups scooped and leveled (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons whole milk

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, placing the rack on the bottom third of the oven.

Generously butter and flour a 9-inch Gugelhupf or Bundt pan.

Put the bittersweet and white chocolates into two separate heatproof bowls that can be set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Melt the chocolates, one bowl at a time, over gently simmering water. (You can also melt the chocolates in the microwave.) Set aside to cool.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Add the sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy. (Alternately, a handheld mixer will work just fine here.) Beat in the vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition, until the mixture is well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Beat the flour into the butter mixture. Then, scrape out two-thirds of the batter and place in a medium bowl. Stir the melted white chocolate into this larger batch of batter until no streaks remain.

Add the melted bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and milk to the remaining one-third of the batter, beating until fully combined.

Scrape half of the white batter into the prepared pan. Top with the bittersweet batter, then the remaining white batter. Using swooping motions, drag the blade of a knife through the batter to create a marbled cake. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until the white part of the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean. This will take about 60 minutes in a Gugelhupf pan but closer to 45 minutes in a Bundt pan.

Place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding the cake onto the rack. When the cake has cooled completely, dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.