Friday, 30 January 2009

Marmorkuchen for Lucy (Marble Cake)

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Things have been pretty quiet again here, which is partly because I've been away and have just got back from a four day study trip, taking our students to Berlin. It was very cold and pretty tiring, but well worth it. Even though I am German I had never before been to Berlin, but now that I have I definitely want to return again.

It's a fantastic place with so much going on and so much history to it. We just didn't have anywhere near enough time to do all the things we wanted to do and see all the things we wanted to see, despite our days being absolutely packed.

My friend J. and I stole an hour or two away from everybody else and visited the delicatessen floor in the famous KaDeWe, which is one of Europe's largest department store, second only to Harrod's in London.

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Well, if you are a foodie and find yourself in Berlin I can only urge you to go. They sell regional foods from all over Germany and of course imported foods from all over the world. As can be expected it is pricey and some of the things can easily be found in a normal German supermarket for quite a bit less, but a place that sells Norwegian Brunost (Brown Cheese) has to be good in my books. The meat, fish, cheese and bread counters are unbelievable and the same can be said for the selection of coffees, teas, spices, chocolates and alcohol.

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Well, now that I have finally caught up on some much needed sleep, I've been baking cake. My friend Lucy is leaving for a month' artist residency in the Shetland Islands tomorrow and her housemates have arranged a little tea party so we can all say our farewells. As I am still in a somewhat German mode I thought I'll bake Marmorkuchen or Marble Cake, because even though it probably isn't exclusively or typically German, it still is the first cake that I ever made by myself as a teenager and it is very popular over there. The recipe is from what is probably the best selling baking book in Germany, Dr. Oetker's Backen Macht Freude (link to the English version) and works every time.

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Marmorkuchen (Marbel Cake)

250gr butter or margarine
250gr caster sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (or a splash of vanilla essence)
3-4 eggs
a pinch of salt
1 vial of rum-aroma (I can't get this here in the UK and just left it out)
500gr flour
2 tsp baking powder
about 125ml milk
30gr cocoa powder
25gr sugar
2-3 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 180C/ Gas 4/ 350F.

Using and electric whisk or a food processor, whisk the butter until frothy.

Add the sugar, vanilla sugar (essence), eggs and rum aroma (if using) little by little.

Start adding the flour and milk alternately and continue to mix. Only use enough milk to make a dough that drops of a spoon heavily.

Spoon 2/3 of the dough into a greased and floured Kugelhopf or loaf pan. (You could also use an angel cake pan or a springform pan with a fluted tube insert.)

Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the remaining doug and mix until well combined. Add enough milk to once again achieve a dough that heavily drops of a spoon.

Spoon the dark dough over the light dough. Using a fork, marble the two doughs, by spirally dragging it through both.

Bale for 50-65 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a wooden skwere into the middle. If it comes out clean the cake is done, if there is still dough sticking to the skewer it needs a little longer.

Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes, before carefully turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar, before serving.

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17 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

The last time I was in Berlin I was 18..so that was a little while ago. I'm glad you had a chance to visit what sounds like a foodie paradise:D

Gloria said...

What s nice this Cake Sylvie I love your cakes.
Hubby was in Berlin a years ago and always promess I will meet some day He loves it. I m would like to visit some day maybe!! xxxGloria

Antonia said...

Love your marble cake (...do you think your friend will notice that you've already had a slice?!). I've always fancied going to Berlin - must try to schedule a trip soon I think.

Sylvie said...

Val, it certainly was just that.

Gloria, I hope he'll keep his promise.

Antonia, haha, I did of course take the still intact cake to the party, but was made to take a little bit back a there were so many different cakes and therefore quite a few leftovers. That's how I got a chance to photograph the slice.

Jules said...

I remember the KaDeWe food hall well. When ever we were in that part of Berlin even at the age of 9 I use to insist on going to see the food counters. I even remember going on a school trip to see the food hall!

Glad you enjoyed Berlin. The cake looks wonderful.

Jan said...

Great looking cake Sylvie! Glad you had a good time in Berlin.

squirrelbread said...

I went to Germany several years ago and regret not getting to Berlin. Thanks for reminding me to plan that trip back!

Stumbled upon your site this morning and very much enjoy it. Started my own blog last week and would love for you to pop in some time!

Cheers,

*Heather*
http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com

Sylvie said...

Jules, I wish my school would have done trips like that! I guess it did really, but ours was to London and I did make it to Harrod's food hall on that trip, but only because I talked my friend to go there with me by ourselves (we were doing A-levels by that time and were allowed to explore a little by ourselves.).

Jan, thank you.

Squirrelbread, thanks for taking the time to let me know you've been here and enjoyed it. Of course I'll come and look at your blog, in fact I'll do that straight away now.

Anne said...

We went to Berlin about 10 years ago and really enjoyed it, keep meaning to go back! Remember lots of delicious cakes!

Trish Sharp said...

that looks so yummy. i love cake.
reminds me that i forgot to bake the pie i wanted to yesterday. ooops.

Rosie said...

Hi Sylvie, your trip to Berlin sounds lovely and pleased you had a nice time! Now your marble cake looks amazing, funny thing I've been thinking of baking a marble cake and your recipe sounds perfect!

Rosie x

Marie said...

I have a cousin who lives in Berlin Sylvie. (I know that's like saying I have a needle in a haystack, but I couldn't resist telling you!) I have never been to Berlin, but want to go one day. That cake looks fabulous. I love German Baking. I have an old German baking book that I adore. It has the cutest cookies in it. They are ginger and have little red and white polka dotted toadstools on them made out of cherries.

Margaret said...

Lovely cake and it looks beautiful after being cooked in a bundt tin.
I would love to visit Berlin.

elephantJuice said...

That cake sounds delicious, thanks for posting the recipe!

I'm leaving for a week in Berlin on Wednesday so I'm glad to have found a recommendation of somewhere to see, that store sounds like a treat to visit!

Laurie said...

What a beautiful Marmorkuchen. I have had the same bundt pan for many years. Yours with the twist is lovely! I think I;ll be looking for some new cute ones.

PS.. Don't you just love the new link from Linkwithin? I just got mine last week! :)

Kevin said...

Nice looking marble cake. I would like to visit Germany and Berlin some day.

Selba said...

I love marmorkuchen!!! Haven't eaten it for a long time... My mom keeps on making stollen all the time. I think I will remind her to make marmorkuchen, thanks for sharing the recipe :)

p.s: I like Dr. Oetker recipes.