Wednesday, 3 April 2013

German Marble Cake

I don't want to turn this into a baking blog, so I shall upload something savoury too; however, by popular request I am posting the following recipe as it is divine!

Background: I like to bake and recently it was a relative's birthday, so I decided to make them a birthday cake. In the past, I have made them the usual (for England) victoria sponge and the more exotic coconut and lime malibu cake, but this time I was reading a German magazine and noticed a lovely looking recipe for a marble cake.

Marble cake is pretty popular in Germanic countries. In the past I have bought a pre-made cake from certain German supermarkets, who shall remain nameless; along with 'the nasties' (additives/preservatives etc), they always seem to have a strange flavouring that I can't stand and is perhaps synthetic. I had always thought this type of cake would be a hassle to make because you end up with two cake batters at one point, but I was proven wrong. It really is not that bad - apart from washing up two bowls instead of one.

The theory behind this cake being that it should be more vanilla sponge and less chocolate sponge; I seem to have ended up with them being pretty equal. I shall alter it slightly next time, but it really doesn't matter that much. I have altered the amount of white and dark chocolate used for the topping because the original recipe had too much dark to white in my opinion (you can change it as you desire).

250g soft/room temperature butter or margarine = 1 cup
1 pinch salt (I omit this)
200g sugar (I use caster as I am in the UK) = 1 cup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs (I used medium)
300g self raising flour = approximately 2 1/3 cups - for all purpose plain flour use the same amount of flour but add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and mix it before use
150g creme fraiche = 2/3 cup
2 dessert spoons of cocoa powder (the type of spoon you eat cereal with) = approx 4 teaspoons
3 dessert spoons of milk or milk substitute
75g of dark chocolate (2.5 ounces will do)
75g of white chocolate (2.5 ounces will do)
  1. Oil or grease (with butter/margarine) a large loaf tin. Mine measured 25 cm long, so approximately 9 to 10 inches long would be ideal.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F (conventional) or 150 C/300 F (fan).
  3. Take the butter, salt (if using), and sugar and cream together in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or electric beaters. When the mixture is pale and fluffy/creamy, add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate each one thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract and gently stir to combine. 
  4. Using a metal spoon, add the flour (and baking power, if using), and fold it into the mixture. Add the creme fraiche and fold this into to loosen up the mixture.
  5. Take another mixing bowl and remove between 1/2 the mixture. You should now have two bowls with mixture in them.
  6. Use a sieve or flour sifter to add the cocoa powder to the mixture, at the same time add the milk and fold the two ingredients into the mixture with a metal spoon (be careful not to overmix/beat as you will lose some of the air).
  7. Take the vanilla/yellow cake mixture and add it to the loaf tin, then add the chocolate/brown cake mixture on top. Smooth with a knife and then take the handle of a spoon and swirl it through the mixture from one end to the other in a continual wiggly 'S' shape - this gives you the marbling of the two cake mixtures.
  8. Bake for between 50 to 60 minutes. I checked mine at 45, and then again at 55. The cake is ready when you can insert a skewer into the cake and it comes out clean with no mixture stuck to it. 
  9. When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to stand in its tin for 5 minutes.
  10. Loosen the cake with a palette knife and turn it onto a wire rack to cool.
At this point you can just eat the cake as it is, or you can make it even more special by following these steps:
  1. Melt the white chocolate and dark chocolate separately - I use a bain marie/porringer pan.
  2. Drizzle the dark chocolate first over the cooled cake - I used a palette knife to smooth the extra dark chocolate over the sides.
  3. Then drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cake, taking care to fill in any gaps on top where you did not put dark chocolate. If you wish, you can then take a wooden cocktail stick and use it to drag vertical lines the length of the cake, which will give your cake a marbled topping.
  4. If possible, carefully leave put the cake in the fridge to 'set' the chocolate, otherwise just leave it for a few hours or more so the chocolate can cool right down.
Recipe adapted from: Neue Post Magazine 20 March 2013

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