Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Chocolate-orange marble sponge cake

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Chocolate-orange marble sponge cake. It turned out pretty good - soft and spongy without the kind of choking dryness that defies all attempts at swallowing. It would have been nicer still had I not forgotten about it in the oven (I did say I'm an amateur cook, prone to distractions!)... the extra 10 minutes that it spent in the oven made the top of the cake a bit crispy. It also developed cracks *sigh*. Not unpleasant, really, but also not required. The cake was just sweet enough for me, but my husband doesnt just have a sweet tooth - he has a mouthful of them! So I drizzled some pure Canadian maple syrup (difficult to get in the UK, I kid you not) over the top of the cake. A satisfactory ending for all.

Chocolate-orange marble sponge cake:


2 cups all-purpose or cake flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tspsalt
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup 'light' sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda granular to make 1-1/4 cups, but I like my cake with less sugar)
3 large eggs
1 tsp extract of vanilla
3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or concentrated orange juice, or failing that, freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a medium-sized orange
1 tbsp grated orange rind


1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cream the butter or margarine in another bowl, add sugar/Splenda mix gradually and keep creaming till the mixture is soft and fluffy. Note that the addition of Splenda granular means that the mixture may well become a bit stiff.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition. Then add the vanilla.

4. Now add the flour mix and the milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour, and only stirring to mix. DO NOT BEAT.

5. Divide this batter in half. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to one half and stir until blended.

6. To the other half, add the orange rind and liqueur/concentrate/fresh juice, whichever you are using. Stir until blended.

7. Spoon the batter into an 8" round cake pan that has been greased or lined with silicone paper. Alternate the chocolate and orange batter in the pan. There will be more batter than can be accommodated in one layer, so continue spooning the batter alternately over the first layer, making sure that the orange batter goes over the chocolate batter in the pan.

8. Bake for 45 minutes in a 1800C oven (350 Fahrenheit), or until done. Test with a skewer.

9. Let the cake stand in the pan for a couple of minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool. Sprinkle the top lightly with confectioners sugar when the cake has cooled completely.

10. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup for those who like their cake sweet, or with orange-flavoured cream.

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