Marblellous Cake

Did you know that the origin of the word "cake" can be traced back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread, but it is only in the latter part of the 19th century that "Marble Cakes" appeared.
According to the recent ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, in Victorian times when impact was of the utmost importance, the marble cake was a novelty which had to be seen on the American tables, it was also the logical extension of the American fascination with cake color. "When marble cake first appeared, its dark swirls were produced through the addition of molasses, spice, and, in some recipes, raisins or currants. The simpler recipes were prepared using a single whole-egg batter, half of it darkened, but more ambitious recipes produced a more dramatic effect by making use of separate silver and gold batters, the latter darkened. Other bi colored cakes soon entered the scene. Hard-money cake was made by swirling silver and gold batters."
May be we should give the Marble Cake a 21st century make-over so if anyone fancies playing with their food, here is your opportunity to have a slice of fun, just replace the chocolate powder/milk with any artificial/natural lurid coloring for psychedelic effect and send me the pictures for all to see.
recipe mostly from the one the Baker by Leanne Kitchen
Marble CakeServes 10

185g (61/2 oz) butter , softened
230g (8 oz) caster sugar
3 eggs
280g (10 oz) self-raising flour
185ml (6fl oz) milk
1 tsp natural vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons warm milk, extra (for the chocolate powder)

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Lightly grease a 25cm loaf (bar) tin and line the bottom with greaseproof (baking) paper.
If you want to make life easy, simply put all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) into a food processor and whizz for 1-2 mins until smooth. If you prefer to mix by hand, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
If you are using the vanilla bean, split it down the middle and scrape the seeds into a bowl. Alternatively, put the vanilla in the bowl, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift the flour and fold it in, alternating with the milk until the mixture is smooth.
Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Stir the cocoa powder and the extra milk into the mixture in one of the bowls.
Take 2 spoons and use them to dollop the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes into the tin alternately. When all the mixture has been used up , tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren't any air bubbles. Take a skewer and swirl it around the mixture in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.
Bake the cake for 50-60 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

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