Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Marble loaf cake

I have fond memories of marble cake from childhood - usually involving pink swirled through as well as chocolate and vanilla. I also loved the rainbow layer cake my grandmother sometimes bought when I was younger - a layer of chocolate, pink and vanilla sponge in a loaf shape, sandwiched together with mock cream. Somewhat to my surprise, I recently discovered the local bakery here still makes it.

This particular recipe is a variation on the Victoria sponge cake in David Herbert's 'The Really Useful Cookbook'. There are no garish artificially coloured pink sponge swirls; this is a more elegant option, I think, and probably more acceptable in my male-dominated household. My excuse for whipping this up was I thought DS1 might be bringing a friend home from school; love an excuse to bake! I have made marble cake before, but not for years.

Super simple and quick to make. Here's the recipe...

Preheat oven to 180ยบC. Grease and line a medium loaf tin (I used a silicone pan, so just sprayed it lightly with oil).

Using an electric mixer, beat 175g of softened butter and 175g caster sugar until pale and fluffy.

Using a fork, roughly mix 3 large eggs and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Slowly add this into the butter and sugar mixture in about 5 lots, beating well in between. Add a spoonful of the 175g of SR flour if the mixture looks like it will separate. Using a metal spoon, lightly fold through the remainder of the flour. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Mix 1 heaped 15ml tablespoon cocoa (UK measurements) and 2 tbs (30ml) boiling water. Stir thoroughly through one portion of the batter.

Spoon the 2 batters alternately into the prepared tin. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the mixture twice in opposite directions to swirl the colours. Tap firmly on the bench to level. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in tin for 20 mins. Remove from tin to a cooling rack to cool completely. Sift icing sugar over the top.

the 2 mixtures spooned into the loaf pan

The recipe stated to cut through twice, but I couldn't only do it twice - I can't resist fiddling and ended up cutting through 4 times, and that was exercising willpower not to do any more! Here it has been swirled and then levelled.


It never ceases to amaze me how much nicer a sprinkle of icing sugar can make things look.

The verdict

The cake was moist with a really nice texture and flavour. Very quick to make, and the end result was quite attractive. Will definitely make this again.

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