This recipe is dedicated to my Grandma Edna. Sadly she’s not very well and as the person who first introduced me to baking when I was only a wee girl, we have lots of very special memories together. It’s unlikely that she’ll ever read this post but it makes me feel happy to share it with others.
When I was little, I loved going to my grandma and grandad’s house in Fife. The long journey from Portsmouth was totally worth it because I knew that there was a kitchen FULL of freshly homemade biscuits and cakes waiting for me. Shortbread, chocolates, cream cakes, sponge cake, you name it, she had made it.
The first thing we ever made together was chocolate cake. The recipe was from a children’s cookbook but I remember that Grandma didn’t need to read a word of it because she already knew exactly what to do. I learned over the years that she knew hundreds of recipes off by heart. If it had butter and sugar in it, she knew the recipe.
She has a simple rule: use the same quantities of butter, sugar, flour and a couple of eggs and you can’t go wrong.
Her victoria sponge is the best in the world and as the first cake she ever taught me to make was a chocolate sponge cake, I’m combining the two: chocolate marble cake.
You will need:
For the cake:
170g caster sugar
170g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g dark chocolate, melted
25g soft brown sugar
50g plain flour
For the icing:
85g dark chocolate, melted
125g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan and grease and line 2x8inch cake tins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the caster sugar and butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk.
Fold in the self raising flour and then add the milk.
Split evenly into two bowls. One will be your vanilla cake and one will be your chocolate cake.
To the vanilla, add the vanilla essence.
To the chocolate, add the dark chocolate, soft brown sugar and the plain flour and mix well.
Now the fiddly bit. Start to spoon amounts of the two mixtures into the two tins. You mustn’t be neat, you mustn’t mix. You will then end up with something like this:
Then put them in the oven for 25 mins. When ready the tops should feel springy.
Take them out of the oven and after 5 minutes, remove from the tins and leave on a wire rack to cool.
Once completely cool, you can start making the icing.
Mix together the butter, milk and icing sugar. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix again. If a little runny, mix more and it will thicken.
Spread half of the icing on top of one cake and the remaining half on top of the other and then put the more attractive looking cake on top of the other. Ta daaaa!
Everyone has their own reasons for baking and cooking. For most, it’s about sharing. Creating something you can share with others and see them enjoy it as much as you do. I know that’s why Grandma baked for me and my brother and I think that’s why everything tasted so good. When P cooks for me, he puts so much effort and flair into what he makes because it’s something we’re sharing but if he or I eat alone – beans on toast will do!
Why do you enjoy cooking and baking? What drives you? x