Marble Cake is a Child's Game

My earliest cooking memory is baking marble cake from a recipe in a French childrens' cookbook called ‘La patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfant’ (Pastry is a child’s game). The text was written in well-formed script with wax crayons and the ingredients simply and colourfully illustrated. I used to carefully follow directions which took most of the afternoon. I especially gave my utmost attention to alternating the vanilla and chocolate mixtures into the baking tin, one teaspoon at a time in order to achieve a perfect marble effect.

These days are long gone and even though I still get a feeling of reassured pleasure when I cut the the first slice, I now make my marble cake in a matter of minutes. The sponge is moist and light and good organic cocoa adds richness to the flavour. To make the cake even more sinful I like to top it with a creamy layer of ganache made with 70% chocolate

Marble Cake

A knob of butter and some flour for prepping the tin
165 g butter
165g caster sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
165 g plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
20 cm bunt tin

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.  Butter a 20 cm bunt tin and dust with flour. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  3. Mix the eggs together in a separate bowl, and gradually beat into the creamed mixture a little at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of flour if the mixture begins to curdle.
  4. Fold in the flour and baking powder, adding a little milk to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency.
  5. Divide the mixture into two halves; add cocoa to one of the parts. Add 1 or more tablespoons of milk to the chocolate mixture to keep it soft.
  6. Layer these mixtures in the prepared tin.
  7. Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until the cake is well risen, golden and feels spongy. Touch the centre of the cake and it should spring back.
  8. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Top with chocolate ganache if desired.

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