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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tiger Loaf (Marble Cake)

A slice of Tiger Cake
This cake is popular in America and Europe, where it is often called a Tiger Cake - due to the two contrasting batter giving an effect like a tiger.

The quote below shows some of the orgins of the marble cake.

"The cookbook evidence suggests that Victorian American women served cake in the same basic ways that their mothers and grandmothers had. For desserts, women generally baked cake in square pans or "in sheets" and served it in cut squares on cake plates or in pierced-silver cake baskets...Much grander party cakes were required for this new age, and they promptly materialized. First was the marble cake, a logical extension of the American fascination with cake color. When marble cake first appeared, its dark swirls were produced through the addition of molasses, spice, and, in some recipes, raisins or currants. The simpler recipes were prepared using a single whole-egg batter, half of it darkened, but more ambitious recipes produced a more dramatic effect by making use of separate silver and gold batters, the latter darkened. Other bicolored cakes soon entered the scene. Hard-money cake was made by swirling silver and gold batters."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 162)

The key to this cake is too put it in a very hot oven. This causes a reaction with the baking powder which makes the cake rise very high in the middle.

Makes 1 loaf cake
15g cocoa powder
2 tablespoons warm milk
110g plain flour
40g rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
80g butter
80ml sunflower oil
140g icing sugar plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons Castor sugar
grated zest of one lemon
3 large eggs

  • Use a 1kg loaf tin. Brush the tin with melted butter and then dust with flour.
  • Mix the cocoa powder with the warmed milk to form a paste.
  • Sift the flours, baking powder and a pinch of salt together in a bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to C220.
  • Heat the butter with the oil at a low heat until warm.
  • Combine the icing sugar, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl of an electric food mixer. Add the butter and oil to this mixture. Mix at a low speed.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
  • Next add the flour in three batches. When all the flour is added mix the mixture at  the highest speed for 5 minutes.
  • Spoon one two thirds of the mixture into a bowl. Add the cocoa paste to the bowl with one third of the mixture, whisk until smooth.
  • To achieve the marbled effect spread a layer of the pale mixture along the tin. Place alternative spoonful of the dark mixture. Top with the pale mixture. Drag a fork through the mixture from the bottom of the tin through to the top in a crisscross movement.
  • Place the cake in the oven. Reduce the temperature to C200. After 15 - 20 minutes make a shallow cut through the length of the cake. Lower the temperature to C175 and bake for a further 35 minutes. You may need to place some foil over the cake it is in golden on top.
  • Test with a skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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