This is my submission for this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge. This month it is Chele’s turn again to host the challenge and she came up with the idea of using leftovers or surplus stock. This is a great idea post-Christmas, but unfortunately because we are so greedy in this household we had no leftovers to speak of. I have been racking my brain for a solution and of course, when I glanced again at the 10 jars (well 9 now, I did mention that we are greedy) of marmalade that are sitting on a tray on top of the hob waiting for me to decide where to keep them, inspiration struck.
One of my favourite cookbooks on my shelf is The Dairy Book of Family Cookery, not necessarily for the recipes, although I have cooked from it many a time, but because of the nostalgia it has for me. It was written in 1983 and my mum bought it from the milkman. It was a book I grew up with and used a lot when I was a teenager. I remembered this morning that I cooked a Marmalade cake with a crunchy cornflake topping when I was about fourteen (only a few years ago!). I thought I would give it a go again, but this time add chunks of chocolate into the mix. I had come to the end of the packet of cornflakes so I used half cornflakes and half rice crispies (surely this counts as using up leftovers/surplus stock too).
Well, it hasn’t worked out perfectly but the end result does taste good. I set to work following the instructions to beat together softened butter and syrup, but this turned out into a lumpy mess that no matter how much mixing I gave it did not get any better. I think my problem may have been that it is cold today and my food cupboard is on the cold side and when I add the cold syrup to the butter it just made the butter hard again. So this mix was disposed of into the scrap bowl for our chickens and a fresh batch started. This time I dispensed with the syrup and used half muscovado sugar and half caster sugar. It worked better than the syrup. The cake sunk in the middle though, which may be due to the topping being too heavy or it may be due to something else entirely. Also, because I was in a bit of a rush I thought I would be a Smart Alec and dispense with the all important lining the base of the cake tin with baking parchment. Silly me, this bad move resulted in the cake breaking up when attempting to get it out the tin. Oh well, you live and learn. The cake looks like this, but tastes very much better than it looks.
175g (6oz) softened butter
50g (2oz) muscovado sugar
50g (2oz) caster sugar
5 tbsp marmalade
350g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
100g (4oz) good quality chocolate
100ml (4 fl oz) milk
For the topping:
50g (2oz) cornflakes (or rice crispies)
2 tbsp syrup
5 tbsp marmalade
Beat the butter and the sugars together until fluffy and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the marmalade and mix well. Sift over the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the mix, add the chocolate and the milk and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients for the topping together.
Spoon into a 20cm cake tine that has been greased and lined. Spoon the topping evenly over the levelled cake. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or in the Baking Oven of the Aga for 45 minutes – 1 hour until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then turn onto a wire tray to cool completely.