I saw the photo of this cake in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and thought – ‘it looks fit, I must try it’. Yes people, I described a cake as fit. I’m sorry, it had to be done.
I needed a reason to try out this marbled chocolate cake and luckily, my neighbours were due to come round for dinner; technically not a dinner party, but excuse enough for dessert.
The recipe is really simple, it is essentially your basic sponge recipe – except you put half of it in the tin before mixing the other half with cocoa powder and a bit of water. The chocolate half is then added to the tin and ‘swirled’ with a spoon to (hopefully) make a marbled effect.
Once out of the oven, I spent ten minutes deciding which was the best method of getting the cake out of the tin. I’ve not had the best of luck with these pesky ring tins and I was slightly scared of ruining the cake. Thankfully, the bake on the ring cake was really good and all it took was a gentle nudge with a knife to get it all out in once piece!
The chocolate cover was simple case of melting butter and chocolate, pouring it over the cake and letting it set for an hour. Sorted.
The final decorative part didn’t go so well, however. All I had to do was to melt milk chocolate, put it into a piping bag and pipe lines on the cake. I didn’t have a piping bag that was small enough so I improvised with a freezer bag – it’s all the same right?
Wrong. I made a tiny hole and squeezed … nothing happened. So I squeezed a bit harder and in true sod’s law style, a great wave of chocolate spilled out! Arrghh! I managed to pipe a normal amount out for the rest of the cake before attempting to spoon up the mess I made at the beginning. Take two didn’t go much better but I was laughing too hard by that point to care.
I served up the cake after dinner with some beautifully brewed Iranian tea. Thankfully, my neighbours were too engrossed in a debate to notice my continued chuckling at my decoration drama. To make matters worse I noticed my ‘marble’ effect looked more like a mushroom cloud, which set off another bout of laughter from me. Oh dear.
The cake did get the nod of approval from the guests, so it can’t have looked that bad. If you’ve never experienced this before, it is a small nod that I’ve noticed guests give when they see a cake for the first time and like the look of it. You can practically see their subconscious saying ‘I know I’m full but, yes, I will make space for a slice (or two) of that.’ I always know I’ve done a decent job when I get the nod; but somehow I become more nervous – I hope the taste lives up to the looks.
This cake did (phew!). I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate cake but this didn’t have the heaviness that I dislike. Mary Berry’s recipe is light and moist and the chocolate coating provides the sweetness that all chocoholics adore. This is a recipe I will definitely make again – it’s ridiculously easy to make, looks really impressive and tastes great. What more could you want?