Because Halloween is fast approaching, I decided to spook the cake up by adding a touch of orange for taste and colour, and used some of the orange sparkle gel icing I bought on holiday for a bit of bling. My niece Gracie was the first one to sample this and pronounced it "most delicious". She promptly cleared her plate! I have it on good authority that my Mammy In Law also devoured her portion and even begrudgingly shared it with a friend.
Chocolate Orange Marble Cake
225g Butter, softened
225g Caster Sugar
275g Self Raising Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
4 large Eggs
2 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Zest of an Orange, finely grated
1 tsp Orange Extract
1/2 tsp Orange food colouring/paste
1 1/2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Hot Water
15g Cocoa Powder
1-2 tsp Milk
100g Icing Sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin & line with a wide strip of non-stick baking parchment to go up the wide sides and over the base
Put the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and vanilla extract into a food mixer for 2-3 minutes until well blended. Spoon half into another bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth.
Allow to cool slightly, then add to one of the bowls of cake mixture, mixing well until evenly blended. Add the orange zest, extract & colouring to the other bowl & mix well.
Spoon the orange and chocolate cake mixtures randomly into the prepared tin until all of the mixture is used up, and gently level the surface.
Bake for 50 -60 minutes, until the cake is well risen, springy to the touch and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin - I'd recommend using a skewer to check that the cake is cooked through. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely.
To make the icing, melt the butter in a small pan, add the cocoa powder, stir to blend and cook gently for one minute. Stir in the milk and icing sugar, then remove from the heat and mix thoroughly. If necessary, leave the icing on one side, stirring occasionally, to thicken. Spread the cold cake evenly with the icing and leave to set. Using the orange gel icing, pipe lines across the cake and then use a skewer to "feather" the icing so it makes those pretty patterns you see in the photos.