One of the presents that Father Christmas brought for Andrew was an Ikea children’s baking set; it has a baking tray, pie tin, biscuit cutters, rolling pin and Bundt tin (if you don’t know what this is, hang on, I’ll explain shortly!) – all perfect mini replicas of my own adult-sized baking equipment. When he opened it, I thought the Bundt tin was particularly cute. This is a circular tin with a hole in it, to make ring-shaped cakes; it is a traditional shape in Germany for certain types of cake, and it’s there that I first saw such ring cakes.
When I was 14 and in Germany on the exchange trip organised by school, my exchange partner and I baked a Marmorkuchen, or ‘Marble Cake’ in its classic shape – the Bundt tin. We went on to become good friends and are still in touch today, albeit less frequently than back then when neither of us had such busy lives. For our wedding, she and her husband bought us some typically German presents, including a Bundt tin and a German cook book with various cake recipes in. I’ve mainly used this tin for baking Marmorkuchen, and when I saw Andrew’s mini version, I thought that this would be the first thing that we’d bake in it. We also made a Mummy (and Daddy) sized one at the same time!
So what is Marmorkuchen (Marble Cake) anyway? Don’t worry, it’s not rock hard, well not unless you do something seriously wrong! It’s a basic sponge mixture, half of which you keep plain (vanilla flavoured) and the other half of which you add cocoa powder to for a chocolate flavour. You layer each half of the mixture in the tin, plain first, chocolate second, and then use a fork to swirl them together, to make a marble effect once the mixture is cooked and you cut a slice from the ring. It’s a simple recipe which looks very pretty and a bit different from the usual sponge you might bake.
I’ve given the recipe below. I’m not sure where to buy Bundt tins in this country, but there must be some lurking online somewhere. It would work just as well in an ordinary cake tin or loaf tin, just without the interesting ring shape. The recipe is based on one in the German cook book that I was given, but slightly adapted – there is no rum in it, which, if I remember rightly, in Germany you can buy in little capsules for using in baking cakes such as these. I think it works without it though, as there is vanilla flouring in it anyway.
- 300g margarine
- 275g sugar
- 5 eggs
- 375g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 25g cocoa powder
- splash of milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 C )fan) and grease the inside of the Bundt tin.
- Cream the margarine and sugar in a bowl until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
- Put half the mixture into the Bundt tin and spread it around to fill the ring.
- Add the cocoa to the remaining mixture and mix until well combined, and add a splash of milk if the mixture gets too stiff, to loosen it up.
- Put this mixture into the Bundt tin and spread it around to make a layer on top of the plain mixture.
- With a fork, make circular motions from top to bottom and back to top in the tin, so that the plain mixture below comes up and is swirled into the chocolate mixture and vice versa, all around the circle tin.
- Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes – check it is cooked by inserting a skewer and it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin and turn it out onto a plate when cool. Enjoy!