Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Marble Cake

Dearest Mummy

It's mother's day today and though we never really celebrated Mother's Day with much fan fare, I  am thinking of you today. A lot.

I suddenly had a craving for your marble cake last night ... you know, the one you used to make for tea when we were children? I don't think I ever told you how much I loved that marble cake. It's a shame I never asked you for your recipe - heaven knows I've tried many different recipes from sites I've found online. Some were good (some were even really good) but none have been quite as good as the one you used to make. The marble cake that is sold at our canteen at work is pretty good, actually. But your cake, mummy, was not just pretty good. It was fabulous.

So anyway, seeing that it is Mother's Day and all, I decided to give in to my craving. I looked up the one recipe that came close to the taste and texture of the cake you made. It's from a blog called Chocolate & Zucchini, a blog I visit quite often. Yes, mum. You'd be surprised at how much I cook these days (considering you had to nag me to help you before!). I guess I've grown up somewhat!

Anyway, Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini uses melted chocolate in her recipe instead of cocoa powder like you used to. She also uses cocoa nibs in between the layers of plain and chocolate batter.  I usually mix a little bit of cocoa powder and some brewed coffee into the melted chocolate to add some kick into the chocolate batter. But I ran out of both cocoa and coffee and so I too just used melted chocolate. Yes, mum, I know you're rolling your eyes. Yes, I still don't make a list before I go shopping and find myself running back and forth to get ingredients I've forgotten. Some things, I guess, haven't changed!.

I also added sour cream to the batter instead of milk. Clotilde suggests yoghurt or buttermilk but I really love how sour cream adds so much moisture and also a very subtle flavour to cakes. I wonder if you ever tried it in your cakes ...

The cake turned up fabulous, mummy. For once, I actually allowed my cake to rest and cool down completely before cutting it and trying a piece. Usually, I can't wait to try a piece and end up cutting my cakes while they are still warm-ish causing the cake to crumble a little. Yes, yes, I am still a little impatient. OK, a lot impatient. You remember how I used to peer in the oven to see if your cookies and cakes were ready? Or how I used to linger in the kitchen when you were making my favourite dishes?

I also followed Clotilde's suggestion of drizzling a syrup on the warm cake as soon as it's out of the oven. She added a cacao liqueur/rum in her syrup. I used my favourite cream liqueur, Amarula, in my syrup. Oh, mum. You would have liked it too, I think. Remember New Year's Eve in 2004 when we had some wine that Sree brought over? You were a little tipsy, weren't you?

So, yeah, the cake was yum. I served it for breakfast and R loved it (I pitied him because he never had the chance to eat your cake! Unlucky fella!). It was a nice way to start the day mum, we spoke about you and shared some laughs (well, you were quite funny!). I couldn't share the cake with Mojo though. Too bad dogs can't eat chocolate. He would have loved the cake too seeing that he loves anything you feed him anyway. Yes, he is terribly spoilt.

I've got to head out for lunch now but before I do, Happy Mother's Day to the most wonderful mother ever. I miss you a lot. Till our next chat! xoxo.

Marble Cake
(Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini)
For the cake
100g dark chocolate, chopped roughly
4 eggs
250g sugar
120ml sour cream
220g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Beat the eggs and sugar until incorporated. Add the sour cream and beat to mix. Add the flour and butter, alternating between the two.

Separate the batter into two bowls: 2/3 in one bowl and 1/3 in another.  Add the vanilla extract into the bowl with more batter. Combine the smaller batch of batter with the melted chocolate and stir to combine.

Line and grease a loaf pan. Pour in the batter: first, add 1/3 of the vanilla. Next, add half the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla (you don't really have to spread it or swirl it). Add another 1/3 of the vanilla batter and then, the rest of the chocolate. Top the cake with the remaining vanilla batter.

Bake for 50-60 mins or till a tester comes out clean.

For the syrup
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Amarula

Heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens. Stir in the Amarula and let it cool.

Drizzle the syrup over the cake once out of the oven. Cool.

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