Chocolate orange marble cake

I have been craving something chocolatey and orangey for a few days now.  I can’t explain this craving beyond I often crave something choc orangey, or indeed choc coffee-y or choc cherry-y.  You get the picture.

Anyway, we have been invited to the neighbours for a curry night tonight so I thought I should take something sweet along with us. I thought about choc orange cupcakes or choc orange biscuits, but then thought about marble cake and decided that this was the way to go.

Marble cake holds good memories for me.  My mum often made it when we were children, especially for birthdays.  She would colour it like a rainbow using red, green and blue food colouring. That’s a tough birthday cake to beat in my view.

To make it extra special I have covered it with ganache, as this makes it more suitable for dessert it seems to me, but this cake is good just plain and unadorned.

200g softened butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
100ml milk
the zest and juice of 1 orange
300g plain white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 1½ tbsp warm water

For the ganache:
80g good quality chocolate
80ml double cream

Grease and line a loaf tin that measures 21cm x 11cm x 6cm.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the zest and juice of the orange and beat again to combine.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the milk and beat again.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold in gently until well combined.

Spoon half of the mixture into another bowl and then add the cocoa and water mixture  to this half and fold well.

Then spoon blobs of each mixture alternately into the loaf tin and carefully level the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or on the middle shelf of the baking oven of the Four-Oven Aga for 45-50 minutes until firm on top and a skewer comes out clean.  Place the tin onto a wire rack and leave the cake in the tin for ten minutes and then turn out of the tin and onto the wire rack until completely cool.

To make the ganache, break the chocolate into a bowl and pour the cream into a small saucepan.  Heat the cream to just under boiling point and then pour onto the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.  Spoon over the top of the cake.

I hope the neighbours like it.  Fingers crossed. I liked that piece I sliced off for the picture, I hope they don’t mind the missing slice.

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