In Germany there is a saying “die Augen essen mit” which translates as “the eyes eat as well” and means that it is important for food to look appealing because your brain, via your eyes, will tell you: “Look at that food. It looks delicious I bet it tastes wonderful as well.” And that is what, along with a lovely smell, makes your mouth water in anticipation of your first bite.
This cake doesn’t just look pretty from the outside, but also on the inside (it’s got zebra stripes!) and it is super easy to make and, if you don’t bother with covering it with chocolate, it can be on your coffee table in about 1 ½ hours. I decided to go with the chocolate even though cake decorating isn’t one of my strong points. But as this is pretty much freestyle cake decorating, so I thought I’d give it a whirl and I am pretty pleased with the outcome.
You will need:
- 375g plain flour
- 250g white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 125ml warm water
- 250g liquid fat (I used 125g melted butter and 125ml sunflower oil)
- two teaspoons of vanilla sugar
- 2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa
- 1/2 a shot glass of strong cold coffee (optional)
- 1/2 a shot class of chocolate liqueur (optional)
- 150g dark cooking chocolate
- 80g white cooking chocolate
Preheat your oven to 180C (160C for a fan oven) and grease a round baking tin.
Mix the flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, warm water, butter and/or oil in a big bowl with a hand mixer until it has a batter-like consistency. Divide the cake mix into two smaller bowls.
Add two teaspoons of vanilla sugar to the first bowl and mix with the batter.
Add two tablespoons of good quality cocoa to the second bowl. I also added half a shot glass of strong cold coffee and half a shot glass of chocolate liqueur (good substitutes are rum, Bailey’s, cognac….), but that is optional.
Now poor a couple of sauce ladles of the vanilla cake mix into the middle of the cake tin (though judging by the photos my aim was off by quite a bit!), follow that with a ladle of the chocolate mix, then again the vanilla cake mix, the chocolate mix, the vanilla mix – you get the idea – until you have used up both. Put the tin in the pre-heated oven and bake for 50 minutes. Make sure the cake is ready by sticking a wooden toothpick in it (If it comes out clean, it is ready. If not, pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes). Leave on a cake rack to cool.
You can serve it now – maybe dusted with some icing sugar – or you can give the cake a chocolate coating. If you do that, give yourself plenty of time as it will take some time for the chocolate to harden.
Melt 150g of dark cooking chocolate (I used 100g 70% and 50g 52% cocoa content) with the bain-marie method (place the chopped chocolate in a water proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally). Pour over the cake and leave until the chocolate has set (This will take at least two hours). Now melt 80g of white cooking chocolate using the same method and draw a pattern on the dark chocolate using an icing gun. The dark chocolate will melt a little bit when you flatten it with a knife and you get a marble effect. Leave too cool completely.
And there you are – marbled inside and out. Enjoy!