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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Marble Cake

I must confess that i love baking a cake more than eating one. Even the filmy-est excuse sends me scurrying into the kitchen to pick up my mixing bowl and whisk, and bring out the oven from the cupboard.The aroma and warmth that fills up the house when my cake sits prettily in the oven is capable to lifting my spirits out of the deepest dumps. I can only describe the experience as therapeutic.

No fancy baking tins or food processors for me. I try to retain the old world charm associated with baking and get nostalgic every time a bake a cake. Making use of the very basic ingredients with some lime zest/orange rind/cinnamon stick/few strands of saffron/cocoa powder/strawberry slush thrown in for variety, I rely on my hands to recreate the magic every time. I usually skip the decorations as i find that it takes away from the cake. I really admire Rachel Allen for her lovely cakes and the way she makes use of the simplest form of cake dressing/decorations.

Today I am sharing the recipe for 'Marble Cake' which is so named as it is reminiscent of the swirls/patterns found on a marble flooring. It is a delectable mix of plain old Vanilla and Chocolate cake.















Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients- Butter ( 100 gm ), sugar ( 1 cup ), eggs ( 3 nos ), vanilla essence ( 7-8 drops ), self-raising flour ( 2 cups ), baking powder ( 1 tsp ), cocoa powder ( 2-3 tsp ), warm milk ( 4-5 tbs ).

Preparation - Powder the sugar in a food processor.

Take the butter ( at room temperature ) in a mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar. Beat it nicely with a whisk till it turns a few shades lighter in colour. Add the vanilla essence.

Break the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk them till it forms soft peaks. Around the same time, dissolve the cocoa powder in the warm milk and keep aside.

Add the whisked eggs into the mixing bowl and mix them nicely.

Take the self-raising flour in a seive and add to the above batter slowly, a little at a time (This trick incorporates an extra amount of air into the batter which is very important in making the cake very spongy). Add the baking powder to the last quantity of the flour being added to the batter. Mix well. (We need to be quick from this point as the baking powder starts working as soon as it comes in contact with moisture)

Take 1/3rd of the batter into another bowl. Add the cocoa milk mixture to this and mix it well.

Take a baking tray ( 1 litre capacity) and spray it with a non-stick cooking oil/brush with butter. Sprinkle some flour.

Put a dollop of the plain batter followed by a dollop of the chocolate batter in the pattern as shown below. Follow a pattern such that the two batters are alternately placed.
















Finally take a toothpick and move it around in gentle swirling movements to mix the two. Do not go overboard as the two might get completely mixed up.































Cooking: Pre-heat an oven to 175 degrees celcius. Put the cake into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Prick the center of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Else pop it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.






























Allow to cool down. Cut into generous portions and serve. Store the remaining pieces in an airtight container.

Note: The batter should be so thick that if you overturn the bowl, it should not fall. The butter-sugar and eggs should be beaten separately as it helps in getting more air into the batter.

For best results, use a deep round baking dish.

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