It's nearly here! What, I hear you cry, what is nearly here? Well, Chocolate Week of course! This annual event (this year the 10th-18th October) was established eight years ago now, and you can find out more about it here, on the Divine website. Divine have been the main sponsor for this event since the start, and there are lots of yummy chocolate ideas on their website (as you'd expect really!). There are lots of events around the country that you can find out about. I love the idea of chocolate week (as a chocoholic this should not come as a surprise to regular readers..) because it's essentially an excuse to eat as much chocolate as possible... mmmm, chocolate induced stupor coming right up.
I thought I'd have a bit of a chocolate theme on the blog this week, so this is the start, although you might want to check out the insanely, intensely chocolate-y double chocolate ricotta scones I posted last week - if I'd thought ahead I'd have saved them for this week, but wanted to share their sweet goodness with you as soon as I could.
To kick off chocolate week, I decided to make a marbled cake, just to ease us in and based it partly on this recipe by Dan Lepard for a crumble topped chocolate marble cake, and also on the availability of ingredients in my fridge (yes, raspberries that I wanted to use up!) I decided to combine a few ideas and came up with this original. (As an aside, said chocolate crumble cake is pictured in Dan's new book, Short and Sweet and looks absolutely delicious. The chocolate crumble on top looks fab, I must do that some time!)
Chocolate and raspberry marble cake
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
For the chocolate layer:
2 scant tbsp cocoa powder
1 scant tbsp hot water
100g chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
For the raspberry layer:
70g fresh (or frozen, defrosted) raspberries, crushed
1-2 tbsp plain flour
- Grease and line an 8" square tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C.
- Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, along with about 25g flour if the mixture looks as though it'll curdle.
- Sift in the remaining flour and the baking powder. Mix well.
- Transfer half of the mixture to a smaller bowl containing the crushed raspberries. Mix well, and then add the extra flour and mix this in. My mixture curdled a little.
- Add the cocoa powder and hot water and mix well, then add the chopped chocolate and mix in.
- Dollop alternate blobs of batter into the prepared tin and when all used up, swirl with the handle of a spoon to marble.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes (I think, can't quite remember the exact timings) until well risen and a cake tester/cocktail stick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
I was pleased with the way this cake worked. The marbling was pretty good throughout the cake - always difficult to tell when the cake goes into the oven whether you've over or undermixed the colours. The chopped chocolate in the chocolate portion stayed well suspended and was a really tasty addition. I was really surprised by the flavour of the raspberry portion - I had expected this to be pretty non-existent if I'm honest, but even though I only used 70g raspberries in it, the flavour was definintely raspberry! Admittedly, the colour wasn't pink, but then I didn't really expect it to be. If you want a pink colour, add food colouring!
Keep an eye out for more chocolate goodies this chocolate week.... all will be revealed in good time.