If you haven’t yet pinned marble cakes on your list of must-bake treats, it’s time to re-think that list! Because marble cakes aren’t just good, they are deliriously delicious! I’ve baked this three times this week alone, each loaf hardly ever getting past the second day, with hubby and I reaching out for sweet seconds every time we’ve pinched off morsels for quick bites. And you know what, this cake is so good, it just can’t be enjoyed in little portions, you’ll want to have the whole slab!
And it’s almost as if I’ve re-kindled a whole new love and respect for chocolate vanilla marble cakes. I used to think that there was nothing special about them, and that marble cakes seemed so, err… what’s the word,… oh yah, dull. To me, marble cakes used to seem sort of iffy – it’s almost as if it couldn’t be decided if the cake should have been more a buttery vanilla confection, with a chocolatey compromise (perhaps to appeal to chocolate lovers?). Or perhaps, more a chocolate lover’s cake, with buttery vanilla to sweeten things up a little? Can’t say, right? See? Iffy.
And then I realised that it doesn’t really matter, because either way, it makes for a perfect union of flavours. Seriously, how wrong can one be with chocolate and vanilla? And these cakes are fantastically easy and simple to prepare (otherwise, I wouldn’t be trumpeting about it). Though marble cakes are more of an everyday tea cake, these can become amazingly decadent desserts, when drizzled over with a rich, smooth chocolate glaze, or golden caramel sauce, or even light buttercream topping- right away, a humble cake transforms into an indulgent treat. In a snap!
DID YOU KNOW? Marble cakes have a long history, originating in Germany during the 19th century (also called marmokuchen in German), and first appeared in American cook books from 1871 onwards. It’s usual to think of marble cakes as mostly chocolate and vanilla flavoured, though by definition, these are basic butter cakes made with a mix of different coloured batters, a light-coloured one, to contrast a darker-coloured one. The batters can be flavoured with different kinds of fruit or fruit pastes, or blended with cocoa, coffee, even flavoured liquors.
Ultimately, marble cakes are butter cakes at heart – so you can expect nothing short of a soft, moist, tender-textured cake, with a light, pure, buttery flavour. And now having told you how easy and simple marbles cakes are to bake, I surely do have the perfect recipe (or at least, as close to perfect right now) for you. This recipe is also very good for a basic butter cake – simply omit the steps for the cocoa batter, and bake as is.
This marble cake recipe, by Singapore’s Executive Chef Judy Goh, was taught to baking students at her baking institute, Creative Culinaire, as part of a first-level cake foundation course, which I attended several years ago. In the years since, I’ve tried several marble cake recipes, but truth be told, I still find this particular marble cake recipe as invaluable as when I first had a go at it as a baking novice, and well,… it’s just too good to swap for any other. I do hope you’ll give it a go, and tell me what you think!