I wrote this post back in May. Now that my son is sick again, I remembered it and uploaded it for you.
My youngest is sleeping, finally the fever is high enough that it plateaued and gave him a chance to sleep. I should use the chance to jump on my notebook and write like the wind on the nonfiction book that’s due in August (how to “Find Calm inside Yourself”). But as it is when you write the books you’d actually love to READ: Writing them changes you.
The more I work on “Finding Calm inside Yourself”, the more reluctant I am to disregard my own peace of mind.
So after three hours of holding, comforting, calming, entertaining, I didn’t sit down to research month 7 and 8 of the book (it’s a year-long companion book, giving one relaxation technique for each week).
Instead, I had fun converting our juicy Marbled Cake-recipe into a simple mermaid cake.
While it baked, I sat outside in the shade, ogling my thriving clematis, eating a juicy peach. Just letting the balmy (cough) 44 degrees (celsius, that is) thaw me like a sauna. :-)
Why a blue marbled cake??
When I had asked my son if there was something I could do for him, he had said: “I want to make cake with you. Blue cake!” I told him that there wasn’t blue cake, and that he was too sick to help me bake.
He slowly toddled into the kitchen and pulled out the box with icing colors we had bought last weekend on our trip to Dubai. “Here’s the blue color! Please – I so want a blue cake.”
I tried to sway him to German “Marmorkuchen” (dough half regular, half infused with cocoa). It’s a kiddie favorite. He nodded, but said “only blue instead of chocolate!” Then he promptly fell asleep on the couch.
Blue marbled cake?
I haven’t baked with these food colors before, and I’m not exactly a fan of them. They were for salt dough and home-made playdough.
But: It was such a pleasure to create a rippled blue and white cake, for once without “help” from my children ;-)
And a breeze to do, too, at least with a kitchen machine.
I didn’t mix the blue into a uniform color but left it lighter in places and darker in others, to look like the sea. :-)
Recipe for Marbled Cake, German style
Cooking time is vastly different from oven to oven. Ours here in Qatar is bad, it burns cake on the outside while the inside is still moist. So I can only guess at oven times.
Ingredients for one small marbled cake
- 3 eggs medium-sized
- 150 g regular sugar (white or brown)
- 150 ml rapeseed-oil, coconut oil or other oil with “neutral” taste
- 150 plain yoghurt – I used soy yoghurt to make the cake dairy-free
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- oil for the baking mouldfor the colored half:
- ca. 1-2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder OR food coloring of your choice OR very ripe blueberries
If you use cocoa, like the in the German original version of this cake, you can add 1 tablespoon Nutella or melted chocolate to the dark dough to make it even more chocolaty :-)
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 390°F.
- Whisk 3 eggs in the kitchen machine at high speed, pour the sugar into the eggs and beat until creamy (takes a few minutes). Slowly pour the oil into the mix while beating.
- Mix the flour and the baking powder.
- Add the yoghurt to the dough and stir. Then add the flour-baking powder mix and stir again. The dough will be quite liquid – that’s fine!
- Oil either a box form or a bundt-cake form. I used a small rectangular silicone form from Lurch.
- Spoon about half or two-thirds of the dough into the mould.
- Add 1 tablespoon of flour and your coloring ingredient (cocoa or food color) to the remaining dough in the bowl.
- —If you don’t want to use food coloring or don’t have it on hand, you can also use natural ingredients that “color” the dough, be it cocoa powder or mashed ripe fruits like blueberries. Just adjust the amount of flour so the consistency is comparable to the light dough. —
- Mix in the ingredients and check the color and consistency. If it’s too runny, add a little more flour. If you want a uniform color, mix thoroughly. If you’d like different colors, mix lightly (see photos).
- Add the colored dough to the mould, mixing it with the light dough in a pattern of your preference. One technique is to pull it under the light dough with a spoon or fork. Just don’t mix it too much – then the endresult will be a speckled cake. You want a thick “vein” of color inside the light cake.
- Put it in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes — depending on mould.
Check after 35 minutes so the cake doesn’t burn. If it’s turning dark on top, protect it with a (double)layer of aluminium foil and turn the heat down to 180°C / 360°F.
Let it sit in the mould for ca. 10 minutes before gently easing it out of the mould.
Let it cool completely before cutting. Serve cut into thick slices.
Also tastes great with a chocolate “coat” or icecold from the fridge.
I’ll go back to using natural colorants. Changing diapers with blue poo is a bit scary … ;-) And no, it’s not the same kind of look as when a kid overdosed on blueberries.
Brida Anderson’s novel, Hedge Games, released in December. You can find her at www.brida-anderson.com, Facebook, and Twitter. She and her family currently live in the Middle East with the newest addition to their household, a fae-cat called Robin.