I have been a bit at sixes and sevens with my blogging recently. It’s a shame as I really love writing my blog and reading others’ cakey exploits! Life seems to get in the way and by the time I sit down to write, I either get writer’s block or there’s something else to do!
About 3 weeks ago I finally got round to baking a recipe from Rachel Allen’s new book “Cake”. I have always been a huge fan of Rachel Allen, especially since I first clapped eyes on her series to accompany the fabulous “Bake” book about 3 years ago. I bought the Cake book at the end of the summer holidays and was desperate to start baking from it.
I finally got the chance to bake the Marble Chocolate Crumble cake for the beginning of term staff training day at work in my day job. I usually bake a cake or make a pudding for our shared lunch but sadly my work colleagues ended up with leftovers. Why? Well you can blame my lovely, but mischievous black Labrador for that one! Charlie is not allowed in the kitchen when I am preparing food, whether it is for customers or for others. Before I start work I always make sure everything is prepped and cleaned and Labrador free ready for my cooking. He stays in our dining room with another member of the family with a stairgate across between the kitchen and dining room so I can talk to him if I’m on my own. However, things didn’t quite go to plan that Sunday afternoon. I had gone off to get something from upstairs and came back down to find the stairgate open and a black lump eating my whole marble cake that was cooling on the side. I think he’d only managed a third of it before I grabbed it, swept the crumbs up and chucked it all in the bin. I felt like having a massive toddler tantrum! I was so upset and angry, as well as being worried because the cake contained chocolate and dogs aren’t meant to eat it. I had no time to make anything else and would have to resort to buying something from the local shop on the way to work the next day. In the meantime I did have half of a Raspberry Torte and some Lemon Drizzle traybake that could do.
So, after my Marble Cake Fiasco several weeks ago I started to make the cake again for a Sunday lunch dessert. The dog, lovely though he is, was out with my hubby on a walk so I thought I could get it done without being pestered. First of all I started to chop up a bar of plain chocolate into small chunks, which would form part of the crumble topping. I suppose you could use bags of ready made choc chunks you get in the supermarket but I had a bar of Lindt to use up. Once that was done I put this aside and tried hard not to nibble at the chunks in the bowl, before prepping the crumble topping. This was a little like a topping you add to a fruit crumble with flour, sugar and butter but in this case you toss in the chocolate pieces as well.
Then on to the main cake. I used my KitchenAid mixer to make up the sponge as directed in the book, then divided the mixture in half. In one half it was to be left plain, the other had to have cocoa powder mixed in with it. This smelled divine. The two mixtures were then ready to be put into the tin.
For this recipe I used my springform cake tin which is approx 23cm in diameter. I lined the bottom with a baking parchment circle and sprayed it with the wonderful Dr Oetker Cake Release. Then for the fun bit, the bit I was waiting for! I got two tablespoons and alternated spoonfuls of the mixture as I put them into the tin trying not to put the same colour next to one another. I hoped and prayed it would look good. Finally before I put the cake in the oven I sprinkled on the crumble topping. There was only just enough topping to cover the whole cake.
Into the oven the cake went and after about 40 minutes it was ready. The smell was heavenly and I was desperate to dive in. As it was cooling down on the rack I wondered if history would repeat itself but by this time Charlie the Labrador was happily sleeping in his dog basket after his long walk.
We all enjoyed a large slice of the cake for Sunday lunch pudding along with a huge dollop of double cream. It was heaven on a plate and I can’t recommend this recipe enough.
Happy Baking! Love Sam xx