When I was younger, I always wondered how the pattern on a marble cake was created! It looked so pretty when it was sliced, and the chocolate aroma used to pervade the room. As always, quality ingredients are crucial, so do make sure the cocoa powder is of great quality, as the success of the final result depends on it. You might need a little practice to perfect the technique of folding and swirling the batter, but the chocolate aroma will make it all worthwhile. Don’t forget to drizzle the citrus syrup over while the cake is still warm so the liquid gold can gently find its way down this beautiful cake.
– PREPARATION TIME 25 minutes, plus 5 minutes cooling.
– COOKING TIME 30 minutes.
– FOR THE MARBLE CAKE.
– 1⅓ cups plus 1 tablespoon white bread flour, plus extra for dusting.
– ½ teaspoon baking powder.
– 4 eggs.
– 1 cup sugar.
– a pinch salt.
– 6 tablespoons heavy cream.
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing.
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened, dark cocoa powder.
– FOR THE CITRUS SYRUP.
– juice of 1 orange.
– juice of 1 pink grapefruit.
– juice of 1 lime.
– 2 tablespoons sugar.
Step 2: Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Put the eggs, sugar and salt in another large bowl and beat, using an electric mixer, for a good 8 to 10 minutes until it is really light, thick and foaming. Fold in the cream, then add the sifted flour and baking powder and fold gently together. Finally fold in the melted butter. Transfer one-third of the batter to a small bowl. Sift the cocoa powder into the remaining batter and mix gently until all the cocoa is combined.
Step 3: Put half the cocoa mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake pan, then add the reserved plain batter and finish with the remaining cocoa batter. Put the handle end of a spatula into the batter at the left-hand side of the pan at a 45-degree angle. Using a folding action, gently pull the handle around the edges of the batter, then down through the middle, making three “folds” while moving from left to right down the length of the pan. This will give you a great marbled effect.
Step 4: Bake the cake 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the cake is not quite baked, then slide it back into the oven and bake 5 minutes longer and check again.
Step 5: Meanwhile, put all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until there is about 2 tablespoons syrup, which is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to one side.
Step 6: Remove the cake from the oven and put the pan on a wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan and drizzle the citrus syrup over the top. Leave to cool a little before slicing and serving.