While I definitely hold the view that there can never be too many cupcakes in this world, this blog seems to be developing a cupcake habit (not that I'm particularly sorry for that). However, as the aim is to develop my baking, I thought I'd better turn my attention away from cupcakes, at least for a while.This Chocolate Chip Marble Cake fitted the bill perfectly.
I found this gorgeous recipe on the lovely blog Piece of Cake by Shauna Once again, though, it marks the return of chocolate to my baking - sense another theme here? I've wanted to try marbling for a while, and the layer of fudgy, brownie-type chocolate running through the centre of this cake really got my mouth salivating. The recipe also marked me trying out a bundt - or ring - cake for the first time.
This cake is just lovely, and the smell generated in the house while it was baking was swoon-inducing. It even managed to get the boys out of their rooms and away from their X-boxes, so it must be good, right? Well, it is. Intensely chocolately in the dark layer, it tasted fantastic.
As this is an American recipe, I have played around with the quantities where I thought it was necessary and tried to include measurements - for example on butter and flour etc. These are approximations based on the weight of the ingredients after I measured them out using cups.
The recipe includes the use of light corn syrup - this is becoming more widely available in the UK (I can buy it off the shelf at Wally's Deli or Howell's in Cardiff and you can get it on line). If you can't track any down, apparently you can substitute golden syrup.
2 1/2 cups caster sugar (1lb 4oz or 565g)
1/2 cup cocoa (2oz or 56g)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 tspns vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups plain flour (10 1/2 oz or 390g)
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1 cup unsalted softened butter (8oz or 225g)
4 large (US size) eggs
- Note: US large size is between 57-64g, so is more equivalent to our medium sized eggs - I weighed mine, and used 4 eggs each around the 60g mark
1 cup chocolate chips (about 6oz or 180g)
- Note: I used plain chocolate chips, Bouchard, which are about 55%
Preheat the oven to 155 fan / 175 conventional / Gas 4. Lightly grease and flour a 23cm (9") ringed cake tin.
Put 1/2 cup (4oz or 113g) of the sugar in a small saucepan with the cocoa, corn (or golden) syprup and 1/2 cup (4floz or 118ml) of hot water and whisk until mixed. Place over a low heat and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat, whisk in 1/2 tspn of the vanilla, and leave aside. You'll have a gorgeous chocolately syrup.
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to mix and aerate.
Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated. Add the remaining vanilla.
Add in a third of the flour, and then half the milk. Continue like this until all added. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Place a third of the cake batter into a mixing bowl (I weighed mine to do this. I had 1648g of batter in total, so separated 550g into a bowl.) Add the cooled chocolate syrup to this third, and mix well.
Pour a third of the vanilla batter into your cake tin.
Carefully pour the chocolate batter over this.
Finally, pour the remaining vanilla batter over the top. You can see that I did not have quite enough to cover the chocolate totally, but as it's going to be marbled, it's not a problem.
Carefully swirl a knife through the batter so that you end up with a marbled effect.
Bake until a skewer comes out clean (approx 75 minutes for me, but I started checking after 60 minutes).
Cool the cake in a pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate. You can, as shown above, sprinkle with a little icing sugar.
If you can resist temptation, leave the texture and flavour to develop for a couple of hours before diving in. It's well worth the wait!