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The Baking Blog: Mary Berry’s family marbled cake
Got the folks coming for Easter? The perfect excuse to make this giant chocolate cake!
225g (8oz) butter, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
2 level tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water
150g dark chocolate (important: NOT, repeat NOT, your high quality 70 per cent cocoa chocolate. We’re talking 40 per cent tops. Think Bourneville, not Green and Blacks.)
50g milk chocolate
Three pint ring cake tin
Oven at 180 degrees
I made this using the extra-fine self raising flour especially for sponges that you sometimes see in supermarkets. To be honest, the jury is still out as to whether it makes any difference. I *think* it does – the cakes seem fluffier somehow - but further testing is required!
The first thing to note with this cake is that it’s BIG. A 3 pint cake tin is not to be sniffed at, and since this is also a cake best eaten withing a day of making, you might want to save it for a family get together ( like Easter, perhaps).
Second, your cake tin. I chose this cake to make because it was a good excuse to try out my new bundt tin, but using a ring tin does mean that lining it is tricker than usual.
Mary suggests buttering the tin then lining with strips of baking parchment, which will look messy. But have faith that the weight of the cake mixure will force the paper into all the indentations and you’ll end up with a good looking cake. Because you will.
So, to the making. This is one of those cakes that follows the all-in-one method – my favourite, since it’s much easier.
Add all the ingredients except the cocoa and hot water to your mixer. Switch on. Beat until pale and fluffy, then beat just a bit more. The mixture will be so pale it’s almost white.
Dot half the mix into the bottom of your tin – not covering the base, so there’s room for the chocolate mix. This is a lot guesswork – how do you know when you’ve done half? - and I found I struggled to leave room in the base for the chocolate mix. But we’ll come back to that.
Then mix your cocoa and hot water and add it to the remainng cake mix. Mix until well blended. Add the chocolate cake mixture in the gaps in the tin.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably end up with mainly chocolate on top and vanilla below, but never fear. Stick the handle of a spoon or skewer into the mix and move around the tin making circles or figures of eight. This should be enough to get a good marble effect.
Now, bake for 40 minutes, or until well risen and springy to touch. In my oven, this only took 30 minutes, so keep an eye on it!
Turn out, peel off baking paper, leave to cool on a wire rack.
When cold, make your icing. Add the dark chocolate, butter and water to a bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Pour over your cake.
This requires a little skill to make sure the cake is well covered - I’d recommend leaving it on the wire rack and adding a plate underneath to catch the run off so you can re-use it. Leave for an hour.
Now if you want to be fancy, melt the milk chocolate, and use it to fill a piping bag (the disposable ones from Lakeland are my favourites, very strong!) or two freezer bags, one inside the other with the corner snipped off.
Pipe the chocolate over the icing. Job done. Eat.
(Alternatively you could, like me, mistakenly buy 70 per cent cocoa dark chocolate instead of the Bourneville-strength stuff and have to use your milk chocolate to sweeten up the icing, thereby ensuring you have none left for the piping. Your choice.)