Tuesday, 7 May 2013

almond and chocolate marble cake

... when I was a teenager I was madly in love with a young lady called Natasha.  It was quite an intense, four year relationship that unfortunately but inevitably ended badly... we met recently and healed some of the wounds having realised that twenty five years, marriages and children do a lot to smooth the pain away but I don't think anyone really forgets their first true love.  There are many things I remember about Natasha but one thing that I often recall is her mothers incredible marble cake.  Her mother, who sadly passed away a few years ago was, from what i can remember (or my stomach can at least) a very good cook, in a very traditional 'mum' kind of way and her marble cake was pretty exceptional.  It was a tall slab of cake that I had to stretch my mouth to eat... how can that be bad... I only hope that Tasha has the recipe... this is not it but it brings back memories of my teenage years and that can, on occasion, be a good thing...

almond and chocolate marble cake
you know sometimes when you're thinking about making a cake and you just want something that is simple and sweet and not over-fancy with all that sickly cream and icing... well this is that cake... its simplicity is its beauty.  The sides and edges burnt a little in the oven as I was playing it all by ear but with a little trimming and a dusting of icing sugar you'd never know...

these ingredients make a very tall 12 inch cake
5 goose eggs (6 regular hens eggs)
250g self-raising flour
150g ground almonds
400g butter
400g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a 12 inch, loose-bottomed, deep caked tin

weigh the flour in with the ground almonds

this next stage can all be done by hand or with an electric mixer, the choice is yours... my choice was a large bowl and a wooden spoon... in a very large bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add two eggs and vanilla extract and beat in followed by a third of the flour/almond mix which you beat in... continue this way (eggs followed by flour) until it's all gone... you should have a thick batter

take half out and place in it's own bowl to which you add the cocoa powder and beat in

spoon alternate blobs of each coloured batter into the cake tin and then when it's all in take a knife or a bamboo skewer and swirl the batter around... don't be too careful here, you really can't go wrong, it's supposed to look like a royal mess...

bake for 45 mins or until it's golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

once it's cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving

eat and of course, enjoy!



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