Marble Cake (Marmorkuchen)

Flora Renz

Currently compensating for all my failings as a PhD student by eating my way around London and bribing my entire department with baked goods. Still unsure if I want to be Nigella or marry her. Definitely want to live in a gingerbread house. Think Beetroot is an abomination.

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Marble Cake

I feel like now that I have done one healthy recipe I can happily return to what I do best: mainly things that are at least 50% butter. This cake is pretty much a staple at German kids’ birthday parties. For your benefit, dear reader, I left out the gummy bears, smarties, tears and projectile vomiting. Essentially this is part of my quest to recreate my childhood but without the ready-made cake mixes. The name refers to the marble pattern you see when you cut into the cake, not the fact that when badly made you can lose a few teeth on it. Something about the combination of plain and chocolate sponge just really appeals to slightly indecisive eaters like me. In other words, make this for the person in your life who changes their mind at least 5 times when ordering food in a restaurant. It is a pretty good every day cake, by which I mean I just had a slice of it for breakfast. Personally I think this cake tastes even better the day after you make it and if you put it in an airtight box it easily lasts all week.

 

Ingredients:

250g butter or margarine

250g sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt

4 eggs

375 g flour

3 tbsp baking powder

4 tbsp milk

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

 

For the glaze:

100g semi-sweet chocolate

2tbsp butter

1tbsp golden syrup

 

1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan) and grease and flour a loaf tin (mine is 28 x 13cm but the size doesn’t matter too much here).

2. In a large bowl mix together soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt until well combined and no lumps of butter are visible. Do not do what I did, which is to think that you can easily mix this by hand. You cannot and I now have a torn muscle in my shoulder.

3. Add eggs one at a time. The idea is to stop the mix from splitting so stir well before adding the next egg, 30 seconds at least.

4. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until you have a smooth looking dough. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Now add 2 tbsp of the milk and mix it into the dough.

5. Spoon 2/3 of the dough into your prepared tin and spread it out so it covers the bottom evenly.

6. Add the cocoa power and milk to the 1/3 of the dough that is still in your mixing bowl then spoon the chocolate flavoured dough into the tin as well. Use a fork to swirl the chocolate and plain dough together a little bit so the finished cake will have a nice pattern.

7. Bake for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled remove it from the tin and set aside.

8. Put all the ingredients for the glaze into a heat-proof bowl, then microwave for about a minute. Stop and stir every 15s or so to make sure the chocolate doesn’t start to burn. You could probably get away with doing it just once after 30s but I am a tiny bit paranoid. Stir to make sure everything is well combined then poor liberally over glaze.