My first taste of Marble Cake was of that which came in slice cake packets from Monginis. I was back in school then and that marble cake packet used to be one tiffin for all seasons. As is the culture with most students, food eaten during class hours are much more sacred than those eaten during the lunch break. And marble cake was perfect for such times. You did not have to get your hands dirty, you could continue taking down running notes with your right hand and pass it around (of course under the benches) to your neighbours. On being caught, no teacher could even say anything because your tiffin box wasn’t even open. Ingenious, I say! Eating during classes had its own charm while in school. In college, when you bunked classes to sit in the canteen, nobody scolded you. Your boss doesn’t tell you anything when you drink cups of coffee and chomp on food meticulously placed next to you as you type on the keyboard at work. So basically that charm is lost.
But one person for whom that charm still remains is my 13-year old cousin. He is a die-hard foodie but only takes his picks from proteins and sweets/chocolates. So when it was time to cook up something special for him on Bhai Phnota, I decided to bake this Marble Cake that reminds me so much of my days in school.
Traditionally marble cake is eaten with your evening tea, but it was an occasion to celebrate and therefore an extra something had to be done to make the cake even more desirable than it already was. In stepped Nigella’s Chocolate Glaze (my go-to frosting recipe when I’m low on butter and have no cream around) and the White Chocolate Chips that refused to melt while I was preparing these. At the cost of bragging, please let me say that my Marble Cake looked lovely! When it came out of the oven, for a brief period I thought of doing away with the glaze because that would completely spoil the “marbled” look on the top of the cake. But thank heavens I didn’t, because that took the taste up by notches. My little brother had two huge slices of it and told his mother to make the same cake for him on his birthday (which falls on Christmas eve). I think I’ll relieve my Mami/Aunt of the pain and bake one for him myself on his D-Day. 🙂
For the cake:
Butter, at room temperature: 150 gm
Olive oil: 100 ml
Caster sugar: 200 gm
Amaretto/Vanilla: 2 tsp
Flour: 200 gm + 1.5 tbsp
Baking powder: 1.5 tsp
Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Milk: 50 ml
Cocoa powder: 3 heaped tbsp
White Chocolate Chips: 50 gm + 50 gm
For the glaze:
Water: 100 ml
Dark brown sugar: 30 grams
Butter (cubed): 75 grams
Dark Chocolate (finely chopped): 200 grams
1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
2. Cream the butter, oil and sugar in a large bowl in the mixer or with a hand blender till soft and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one by one and continue blending after each addition till the mixture is smooth and pale. Add the amaretto/vanilla and blend again. Add milk and blend. Take the mixture out of the mixer and tip into a large mixing bowl.
4. Gradually fold the flour into the egg-butter-sugar mixture and mix gently. Do this bit by bit till everything is smoothly incorporated and there’s no lumps.
5. Now divide the batter into two bowls. In the first bowl, add 1.5 tbsp of flour and 50 gm white chocolate chips and fold everything together. In the second, add sifted cocoa powder and fold that in.
6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter the sides of a circular springform cake tin and line the base with parchment paper.
7. Place the cake mixtures into the prepared tin by alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean and it is springy to touch.
8. Let it cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes before de-moulding.
9. For the glaze: Put the water, brown sugar and butter in a pan over low heat to melt.
10. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
11. Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again.
12. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or better still overnight, to get a firmer texture.
13. Now once the cake is cooled completely, spread the glaze on it. Coat the top and sides of the cake with it till uniform. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Now bring it out of the fridge, sprinkle the remaining white chocolate chips on it and put it back in the fridge for another 2-3 hours.
14. Cut into big fat triangles and devour!