When I first took this cake out of the oven, I laughed because it looked so unattractive. The baking paper shielded the cake on all sides, and all I could see was a pile of brown chocolatey rubble.
But but but, don’t be deceived by first impressions. Once you cut into this cake, you get an eyeful of beautifully light marbled sponge, melty studs of chocolate, all combined with a crumbly crunchy topping.
It’s another winner by Dan Lepard, whose cookbook I am continuing to wax lyrical about. What can I say? It’s just full of stuff I want to bake. Twists on the traditional, nothing looks too scary, nothing that takes several days (apart from the sourdough starter). The recipe is on The Guardian from the (much missed) days when he wrote a regular baking column.
I got home from work at 6pm, left the ingredients to get to room temperature while I headed out for a quick run, came back and combined everything together. So, it was all out of the oven and ready to be consumed by 8pm, yummy yum.
Fresh out of the oven, the cake was bouncily light, rich and absolutely delicious. Once cold, it settles into a firmer texture that is perfect packaged up for lunches or snacks. Generous squares, delicate slices…however you fancy. You can see which option I’ve gone for!
I could probably have swirled the sponges together a little more, but you can see how well the light vanilla sponge contrasts with its darker, chocolatey cousin. The downside of winter weekday baking is that I didn’t get a chance to take any photos in actual daylight, but I think these turned out reasonably well with the aid of some extra light and of course, my new cake stand. It’s so quintessentially girly – pink with a frilled edge – and I LOVE it.