There are times when the only way to improve a chocolate cake is to add more chocolate, but even then, there comes a point when enough is enough.
This marbled version gives the best of all worlds - intense chocolate cake swirled with a light vanilla sponge flecked with chunks of chocolate. And trying not to gild the lily too much, a chocolate crumble topping. Oh yes!
It looks spectacular for something so easy to make, and cut into squares is perfect for that picnic, or just at home with a cup of freshly brewed tea. Or even better, served slightly warm with custard or cream. Oh yes, Oh yes!
For the cake:
175g salted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g 70% chocolate, roughly chopped
For the crumble:
125g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
75g light brown sugar
75g salted butter
Prepare a square deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
Make the crumble first by combining the flour, brown sugar, cocoa and butter, and with your fingers rub everything together into a crumble mix, with pea-sized pieces of dough. If it seems a little dry, add a tiny amount of cold water to keep it crumbly. (see pic 1).
Keep to one side.
For the cake, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add the vanilla. (see pic 2)
Mix the flour and baking powder together and sift onto the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Carefully beat or fold together, making sure everything is well amalgamated.
Spoon large blobs of the vanilla cake mixture (about two thirds) around the tin, leaving spaces for the next blobs of chocolate cake mixture. (see pic 3)
To make the chocolate mixture, just add the couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder (sifted) to the remaining vanilla mix along with the chocolate chunks and stir through well. (see pic 4)
Spoon into the gaps trying to give as even a coverage as possible between dark and light. (see pic 5)
Swirl the two mixtures together with the handle of a wooden spoon, or something similar to give a marbled effect. (see pic 6)
Bake in oven at 180℃/160 fan for 25 minutes, then gently sprinkle the crumble over, and bake for another 10 minutes until a skewer comes out the middle of the cake clean of mixture.
Remove and cool in the tin before taking out and cutting into squares and serving with a cup of tea.