Given my long working hours, it always amazes me how I manage to slip in so much baking. Often it’s a blessedly quiet weekend here, or a quick evening bake where I’ve prepped all the ingredients before heading out to work (great way for making sure butter softens to room temperature).
Even more so, it’s about swift, easy bakes. Something to cut into doorstep slices and savour with a steamingly hot drink. So after that languishingly long day at work, there’s something that brings a smile to my tired face, and fills in the gaps in my growling tum.
A weekend cake (or cake weekend en français) fits this bill perfectly. From what I can gather, it seems to be a style of pound cake particular to France, which is so named, because the cake is made and enjoyed over the weekend. Cream replaces half the butter, and the remaining butter is melted and gently stirred in at the end, making a tightly-crumbed cake that is best baked into a loaf shape, and sturdy enough to be transported to picnics or sit magnificently over the kitchen counter, looking decorative.
Creating two batters for this marble cake does require a little more effort in the kitchen – an extra bowl and spatula to wash up afterwards, and a dab hand with layering. The chocolate batter was much thicker after I had swirled in the chocolate, and I managed to dab it in a layer with the aid of a spoon. Puzzlingly, I noticed on cutting the cake that most of the vanilla sponge seems to have disappeared!
It’s a pleasantly tasty cake, perhaps a little drier than I would like, but I suspect that’s because it sat in the oven for a lot longer than I expected. The original recipe states 45-50 minutes, but I baked it for 1 hour 15 minutes in total. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with my oven in particular. Next time, I would increase the temperature slightly, and I have altered the recipe below to adjust for this.
Marbled Chocolate and Vanilla Weekend Cake
Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini
For the cake:
- 100g dark chocolate
- 120g butter
- 4 eggs
- 220g caster sugar
- 120ml whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 220g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 10g dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the syrup:
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
Melt the dark chocolate and set to one side to cool slightly. Melt the butter separately.
Preheat the oven to 170˚C and prepare a 2lb/1kg loaf tin.
Whisk the eggs together with the sugar and whipping cream. Whisk in the vanilla paste. Then using a spatular, fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by the cooled melted butter.
Remove about half the batter (around 440g) into another bowl, and fold in the melted chocolate.
In the loaf tin, spoon in one third of the vanilla cake batter, followed by half the chocolate cake batter. Sprinkle over half the chopped chocolate. Then spoon over another third of vanilla cake batter, then the remaining chocolate batter. Sprinkle over the rest of the chopped chocolate, and finally spoon over the last third of the vanilla cake batter.
Pop the cake into the oven and bake for around 50 minutes until risen and a sharp knife comes out clean. Brush the syrup over the cake until all used up and leave to cool.