Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf
The recipe for the Weekly Bake Off this week was Mary Berry's Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf. Got to admit, this one was a bit of a revelation, as the recipe itself did not look very promising. No real chocolate in it, see? (You can tell I've become spoilt.) Instead, it relies on its chocolate flavour from simply cocoa powder. I thought that, given the ingredients, it would be on the dry side. But I was wrong. It was deliciously moist, and the icing and white chocolate drizzle just added to this. Mike and I haven't had much of a look-in with this one, as Josh has somehow managed to polish off the lot himself.
Just as a reminder, the Weekly Bake Off is organised by the lovely Amy, and her challenge is to bake her way through Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes, one recipe (or sometimes more) every week. There is an open invitation to join in with her and bake along. I've lost track of where we are, and I haven't been able to take part every week. But on those that I have done, it has turned out to be a real voyage of discovery, and I have tried out lots of new recipes that I probably would never have touched otherwise. Anyway, the price the book is retailing for makes it a real bargain (I've seen it on sale previously for less than £4 - my copy was £3 at my local Asda). As the recipe for this particular cake, can be found online here, at the Telegraph's website, I'm not going to reproduce it.
The method is pretty simple. You just whizz up a batch of what is basically an all-in-one sponge recipe. Once the batter is ready, you split it into two bowls, one of which you then add the cocoa powder (which has been mixed with some boiling water to form a paste).This gives the chocolate sponge. You alternate dollopy layers of the sponge into a loaf tin, until the tin is filled, levelling the top carefully. The loaf bakes then for about an hour, and you leave it to cool before icing. It does seem a little greasy to touch, but this is what keeps it moist, and it certainly doesn't taste like that.
The icing is based on melted butter, to which you add cocoa and icing sugar, together with a little milk and vanilla extract. This is smoothed over the top of the cooled cake. Mine was probably a little runnier than it should have been, as it started to drizzle down the sides of the cake, too (clearly not what has happened in the picture of Mary Berry's version). But I guess that has its upside, as you get some on the sides of the cake then.
The finishing touch is a drizzle of melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate icing. Ta Daah. The finished cake is really chocolatey, and stays moist for days. Teenage boys permitting that is.
I'm not sure that I would have tried this recipe if it wasn't for the Bake Off, and I can't wait to see the other variations when Amy publishes the round up of entries for this one. It's a great way to have discovered a new family favourite.