claire ptak marble cake

Hi all, I've have been travelling all over the place the past 10 days or so. I've just been to Dungog and back to see my brother and his new puppies, hence the delay in posting today's recipe.

I whipped this cake up just before I drove to Dungog and photographed it whilst up there. The icing was a little damaged en route which you might be able to notice in one of the photos.

The recipe comes from Claire's Ptaks new book, Love is a Pink Cake. It's a simple buttery vanilla and chocolate marble cake topped with a delicious white chocolate glaze, which in my opinion makes the cake. 

Here's the recipe for you which is adapted from Claire Ptak's cookbook, Love is a Pink Cake, which makes an 8 x 4 inch loaf cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Claire Ptak Marble Cake 
175g unsalted butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing 
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
⅓ cup buttermilk 
50g cocoa powder 
80g boiling water 

120g icing sugar 
1½ tbs hot water
60g white chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 190°C conventional and grease and line a small loaf tin, about 8 x4 in, with baking paper. Make sure the paper comes up the sides of the tin.

Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together well, but not as fluffy as you would for a layer cake. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt  together in a large bowl. Mix in half of this flour mixture, scraping down the sides as you go, until barely combined. Keep the mixer going while you add the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined, then scrape down the bowl and give it one last mix.
Spoon one third of the mixture into a bowl and set aside. Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiled water until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool a little then stir it into the reserved cake mixture until it's incorporated.

Spoon a third of the plain mixture into the base of the prepared tin, then alternate dollops of chocolate mixture and plain mixture to look like a checkerboard. Run a knife through the batters in a swirling motion to create a marble effect. Less is more here, so resist the temptation to over-swirl.

Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until springy and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin completely before icing.

To make the icing, place the sifted icing sugar, hot water and cooled melted white chocolate in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Remove the loaf from the tin by running a small knife around the sides of the tin, then tilting the tin on its side and coaxing the loaf out, using the baking paper as a handle. Remove the paper and turn the loaf upright on your wire rack. Drizzle over the icing and let it drip down the sides, then carefully transfer to a serving dish.

My cake barely rose and I'm not sure if that's the way the cake should be but I suspect my baking powder might have passed it's use by date. I'm going to whip up another one for my neighbours with fresh baking powder and see what happens. It was delicious anyway, barely risen or not.

See you all again some time next week with, fingers crossed, some travel photos. I have a new laptop and all new editing software, which I'm hoping I'll learn to use in the next few days. Wish me luck.

Bye for now,



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