Double-Chocolate Marbled Loaf Cake

 On Thursday I only had to go to school in the morning for my Dutch oral, so I decided to use my free afternoon to bake something! In December I got 'The Great British Bake Off - How To Bake', an amazing book with lots of recipes for cakes and othe bakes. You might know The Great British Bake Off, it's a baking competition, and the second series was on BBC at the end of last summer. I watched the entire series and really enjoyed it, so I really wanted the book! The book contains recipes by the contestants, explanations of the technical challenges (such as Paul Hollywood's foccacia) and other recipes. I decided to bake the Double-Chocolate Marbled Loaf Cake, because I love chocolate and it did not seem all to difficult to make. This recipe makes 1 large loaf cake, you will need a 900 gram loaf tin which measures approximately 26 x 12.5 x 7.5 cm. Grease the loaf tin and then line it with a strip of greaseproof paper, this will make it easier to remove the cake from the tin.


For the sponge:
250 g unsalted butter, softened
250 g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 g self-raising flour
Good pinch of salt
75 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
75 g good-quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

To finish:
25 g dark chocolate (70% coca solids), roughly chopped
25 g good-quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
30 g unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius/325 degrees Farenheit/gas 3. Put the soft butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer for 1 minute or until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat thoroughly until the mixture turns pale and fluffy.

Beat the eggs with the vanilla just until combined, then gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition; add 1 tablespoon of the flour with each of the last 2 portions of egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. Sift the rest of the flour with the salt into the bowl and gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Transfer half the mixture to another bowl.

Put the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of steaming hot (not boiling) water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the hot water). Melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool while you melt the white chocolate in the same way.

Sift the cocoa powder into one bowl of cake mixture. Add the cooled melted dark chocolate and mix gently until thoroughly combined. Carefully stir the cooled melted white chocolate into the other bowl of cake mixture. Spoon both mixtures into the prepared loaf tin, adding tablespoonfuls of each mixture alternately. Gently bang the tin on the worktop to eliminate any pockets of air, and carefully smooth the surface. Draw a chopstick or table knife through the two mixtures, swirling, to marble them.

Bake for about 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully turn out the cake onto the rack and leave to cool.

To finish, put the dark chocolate into one heatproof bowl and the white chocolate into another. Add half of the butter to each bowl, then melt gently as above. Using a teaspoon (or a small piping bag), drizzle the 2 chocolate mixtures over the top of the cooled cake. Leave to set, then wrap the cake in greaseproof paper or foil and leave for a day before slicing. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.

My notes:
- For my oven, a fan-assisted oven, 170 degrees Celcius was slightly too hot which caused the edges to be a bit burnt. It was done within 1 hour. If I make this cake again I will put the oven at 160 degrees Celcius. I think this is something you need to try out a bit, because every oven is slightly different.
- When I was making the chocolate to drizzle over the top, something went wrong with the white chocolate. I don't know why this is, it might have been the temperature or the combination with the butter because when I melted white chocolate without butter for the sponge it worked fine. I couldn't use the chocolate anymore (that's why there is no white chocolate over my cake). I would recommend melting the white chocolate without butter, also because white chocolate already has quite a lot of fat itself.

This is what my cake looks like from the inside, cool right? I really like the look of marbled cakes!

Oh and the cake also tastes great, the taste of the dark chocolate comes through really nicely in the sponge, it's not too strong. The chocolate on top is a bit strong, although that would have been toned down if I had also had white chocolate to put on top. Even my brother, who is always quite picky, likes it so that's a good sign! I think this is a cake I will make again in the future.

Source of the recipe: Collister, Linda. The Great British Bake Off How To Bake The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets. Random House, 2011. Print.

Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off?