How do you eat your marble cake? When I was growing up I would chomp away the vanilla portion and save the chocolate portion for last, taking small bites and hoping it does not come to an end. Of course this has changed, now I simply enjoy the combination of the two flavours altogether.
The humble cake has come a long way. There are so many versions now with the inclusion of yogurt, melted white chocolate, ovalette, Grand Marnier and the list goes on.... and I believe it all tastes good.
As for me, I prefer the old-fashioned approach by using basic ingredients but of good quality. Just give more love to the two main ingredients butter and cocoa powder and you are guaranteed of a great cake.
This lovely recipe is adapted from Rachel Allen.
8 oz butter, softened
8 oz caster sugar (I reduce to 6 oz)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I use pure vanilla extract)
8 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50 ml milk
Scant 2 oz cocoa powder - sifted (I use Valrhona and reduced to 1 oz)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of a 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form/loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating all the time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to mix, then add the milk and mix gently to combine.
4. Tip half of the cake mixture into another large bowl and, into this bowl, fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
5. Place the cake mixtures into the prepared tin by alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter, then with a skewer or similar implement, gently draw swirls through the cake mixture to ‘marblelise’ it. Don’t overmix or you won’t have that wonderful marble effect. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.