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I love cake. You love cake.Everyone, well, almost everyone loves cake. It's arguably the easiest-to-make of all the tasty, easy baking goodies around. Baking utensils and directions have been perfected and simplified over time so that even the amateur cook can easily become an expert baker.
Now for a quick history lesson, because wouldn't you like to know where, the concept of cake comes from? The word "cake" comes from the Old Norse word "kaka". Cake itself dates back to Man's discovery of flour and the first ones were not what we today would call cake, but more 'enhanced bread'. To be honest, the difference between cake and bread in history is very small and the words are used interchangeably. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans loved their cakes and medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes, because they could and would last for many months. This made cakes, together with pies, some of the best suited provisions to bring along on journeys over land and sea!
In the middle of the 17th century, Europeans invented more reliable ovens and utensils andâ€¦. Icing! Easy baking would truly become that! Made from the finest available sugar, egg whites and sometimes flavorings, the boiled icing would be poured on the then revolutionary round form cake and popped back in the oven for a while to result in a hard, ice-like layer. But still most cakes were just sweetened breads with dried fruits and sometimes nuts. Cake as we know it today wouldn't appear until the middle of the 19th century with the arrival of true baking powder. Since then cakes are preferably made with extra refined flour and baking powder. Butter-cream frostings began to replace the traditional icings in the beginning of the last century.
Equally, cakes do not necessarily need to have frosting or icing to ensure a different taste from the bog standard vanilla. Don't get me wrong, it can be very nice on occasion, but let's face it, variety is the spice of life! There for now a recipe for a classic amongst classic cakes, with a twist; Danish Chocolate Tiger Cake. If you will ever bake a cake, bake this one. Quick and easy baking was never this easy with a prepping time of 15 minutes and a cooking time of 45. It's even freezable!
- 225 grams of softened butter (Margarine can be used as a substitute in case of intolerances or preference)
- 180 grams of sugar
- 3 medium sized eggs
- 2 teaspoons full of vanilla - extract or powder
- 60 grams of rich cocoa - I have found the Dutch cocoa powder works best
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 225 grams of self-rising flour
1) Set the oven to preheat at 180 degrees Celsius while you prepare the batter.
2) We start with the base batter, later on, we will separate the batter into two bowls to create the double effect, like in traditional marble cake.
3) Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. I recommend using an electrical mixer as beating the mixture together yourself will take forever. The setting of the electrical mixer should be set to low to medium to avoid unnecessary splatter (and spilling of that lovely batter, come on, we've ALL begged our mothers to lick the bowl once the batter was in the tin when we were kids!).
4) Once the batter has congealed to one, creamy mass, we split the batter into two bowls. Remember to spread equally!
5) Take one bowl and mix in the cocoa powder, mixing the batter until it is one even, creamy, chocolate paste.
6) Put the vanilla batter into the cake tin first, then take a large tablespoon and pull it through the middle of the vanilla batter. Immediately follow the spoon up with the chocolate batter, creating a sort of gulch of chocolate in a sea of vanilla.
7) Now comes the part that sets this type of cake aside from its 'plain' marble cousinsâ€¦ using a knife or a fork, pull patterns through the batter, diagonally, vertically, horizontallyâ€¦ your creativity is the limit! Just be careful, too much pattern making can turn the batter into one, congealed mass. However, if you do it right, once you have baked the cake and you slice it, this will create all manner of intricate patterns. A nice way to serve!
8) Bake the mixture for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees. To make sure your cake is fully done, you can insert a fork or knife into the cake. If it comes out clean, you know the cake is done.
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