After a little bit of experimenting – and an almost-collapsed-cake disaster – I have found my new favourite recipe for double chocolate marbled loaf cake. NOM. This cake is my bastardized version of a Great British Bake Off recipe, so credit to them for the main bulk of this creation, with a little bit of tweaking from me!
Unfortunately my first version of this cake collapsed because I was too eager in removing it from the oven. Do not be fooled by the dark chocolatey crust on the top of the loaf, be sure to leave it in for the full time or you may end up with a very soggy and collapsed middle – as per my first attempt.
Equipment – Two mixing bowls, One 900g loaf tin (26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm approx), baking paper, electric mixer (if possible)
Ingredients – For the sponge
250g softened unsalted butter, 200g caster sugar, 50g soft light brown sugar, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 250g self-raising flour, 75g milk/dark chocolate, 75g white chocolate, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, pinch of salt
For the icing
30g milk/dark chocolate, 30g white chocolate, 35g butter (salted or unsalted)
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 while lining and greasing your loaf tin.
- Put the softened butter into a bowl and beat with a spoon or electric mixer until creamy.
- Mix the two sugars together and then gradually beat into the butter until pale and fluffy
- Beat the eggs and vanilla until combined and gradually add to the creamed mixture, making sure to beat well after every addition. (With the last couple of additions of egg, it is important to also add a tablespoon or two of flour to avoid curdling the mixture.)
- Add your pinch of salt and then sift the rest of the flour into the mixture, gently folding in with a large spoon.
- Transfer half of the mixture to a separate bowl.
- Break up your chocolate pieces and place into separate heat proof bowls. Set the bowls over pans of steaming hot water (without the bowl touching the water!) and stir frequently to melt both bowls of chocolate. Remove the bowls from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Sift the cocoa powder into one bowl of mixture. Add the melted milk/dark chocolate to this bowl and mix gently until thoroughly combined. Add the white chocolate to the other bowl of mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Spoon the mixtures into the prepared loaf tin, using large heaped tablespoons to alternately add each mixture.
- Gently bang the tin on the the table top or kitchen sideboard to remove any air pockets and smooth the top of the mixture. Draw a chopstick, skewer or thin knife through the mixture to create the marble effect – don’t swirl too much or the mixtures will completely mix!
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes – be sure to test your loaf by inserting a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean then your loaf is ready!
- Set the tin aside to cool for about 20 minutes before removing your loaf. Remove the loaf from the tin and leave to cool completely. When completely cool, wrap in tin foil and leave to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour
- To make the icing, repeat the chocolate melting steps that we did earlier when making the mixture.
- When the chocolate is completely melted, add half of the butter to each bowl and melt into the chocolate, stirring frequently. Use a spoon or a small piping bag to drizzle the two chocolate mixtures on your cake.
I prefer to slice the cake when it has set and then drizzle the chocolate onto the individual slices, as this distributes the icing more evenly. However, the original recipe drizzles the chocolate on the top of the loaf, which may be more appropriate if you want to present your loaf as a whole cake and not a series of slices. Similarly, I used salted butter for the icing. I prefer this as it offsets the sweetness of the chocolate and I like the very slight salty tang that it gives. Unsalted butter will give a very similar effect but with a much sweeter taste.
My first attempt may not have ended very well, with a very flat middle, but I managed to save the bake by using the non-collapsed edges to make Marble Loaf fingers, which went down just as well as the slices.
Perfect for a tea party, bake sale or just sharing with friends and family, this recipe makes around 10-12 slices, depending on how think you cut them so there is plenty to share!