Halloween is fast approaching so I thought a little colourful baking was in order, so here’s my Halloween Marble Loaf. I’ve always loved how satisfied I feel after cutting a slice of marble cake. Like you’ve done something really magical while baking, when actually it’s blooming easy and pretty fail safe.
I know it looks like this should be chocolate orange flavour, but I thought Halloween was all about tricking people…so this is chocolate and vanilla. Orange food colouring disguising the vanilla flavour. I’ve also used a litte black food colouring to give it a really contrasting, dark colour without making the chocolate part too rich or fudgey (My boyfriend prefers a lighter chocolate taste to something denser) and I think, with this particular bake, it works well while still being moist.
Ingredients for Halloween Marble Loaf
270g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter (room tempreature)
160g caster sugar
45g honey (plus a tbsp for drizzling)
3 medium eggs
100ml whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
orange & black food colouring (a few drops of each)
orange sugar dust
A lined/greased loaf tin
3 medium sized bowls
Preheat the oven to 180oC
1) In one bowl sift together 120g of flour, 1 tsp baking powder and all the 30g of cocoa. Mix well with a wooden spoon and set aside.
2) In a second bowl sift together the remaining 150g flour and 1 tsp baking powder. Mix well and set aside.
3) In the third bowl whisk together (known as ‘creaming’) all the butter, sugar and honey. Do this for at least 3 mins (5 if you can be bothered) until it is fluffy and paler in colour. Once done, whisk in the eggs one at a time. Once combined, whisk in 50ml of the milk.
At this stage the third bowl may look like it is beginning to ‘curdle’ – don’t worry, it’s the amount of eggs/dairy we have. The next step will counteract this. Keep going.
4) Pour half of this egg/butter/sugar mixture into the first bowl. You can measure this exactly if you like, but I always do it by eye (lazy). Fold together with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over-mix. When this looks like it is just about coming together add 25ml milk and a few drops of black food colouring (if desired) to make a slightly darker colour. Mix carefully and set aside.
5) Pour the remaining half of the egg/butter/sugar mixture into the second bowl. Fold together carefully, remembering not to over do it. Again, once this is just about coming together add the remaining 25ml of milk, the vanilla extract and a good dollop of orange food colouring. Mix carefully and set aside. I usually do the food colouring by eye – until I see the sort of colour I want – so little and often is best here. For this loaf I used what came to about 5g of orange food colouring, to get it sickly bright!
6) Here’s the fun bit – taking your prepared baking tin, dollop alternating blobs of the different coloured mixtures into the tin. A little tip – try and make sure the different colours are next to each other. I forgot to take a photo, but here is a link to something that looks ideal – Marble Batter Photo – Once done, pick up the loaf tin and drop it back onto your work surface a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Then, using a cake skewer (or knife!), swirl the mixture a few times in circles to, very loosely, mix up the colours. Don’t over do it though, less is more with this bake.
7) Place on the middle shelf of your pre heated oven for around 45-50 mins. A skewer inserted will come out clean when it is done. About 30 mins into the baking, I covered the top with some foil so it didn’t brown too much. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin, drizzle with a tbsp of honey and any extra Halloween treats (I used orange sugar and some chocolate hundreds and thousands) and then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
8) Eat it.