Hubs is finally getting a few days off from work and we’re driving down to Delhi to be with the in-laws for a few days. Three whole days in a big city with cafés, pubs and multiplexes! I think I might pass out from all the excitement! (Yeah, laugh all you want but this is really what it has come to.) I’ve been born and raised in a big city and I’ll always be a big-city gal at heart. Hubs, though, not so much. But that’s a rant for another day.
So the in-laws were here for a weekend in May for their anniversary and I really, really wanted to bake them a simple, eggless cake with a wonderfully light frosting. (They don’t eat eggs because of their religion) Of course it didn’t happen. It was my first time with eggless cakes AND my first time with frosting. It didn’t help at all that I didn’t believe in this cake from the very start. I was all, what’s going to hold it together and make it rise? While what would be an over-sweet disaster was baking in the oven, I started whipping up my frosting by hand. Ten minutes later Hubs walked into the kitchen to find me on the floor, huddled against a cabinet and in tears. It wasn’t my best moment.
I was determined that this time I would bake them something wonderful and not collapse in a teary mess all over again. I looked at a ton of eggless cake recipes last night and zeroed in on three cakes – a lemon-vanilla pound cake, a marble cake and a fruit cake. If, like me, you’re terrified of frosting or simply can’t bother to make one but still want a cake that looks pretty, bake this marble cake! Even without eggs, this is moist and has a tender crumb and is perfect as a snack while kicking-back with some coffee. That said, can’t wait to try this the “real” way with eggs!
EGGLESS CHOCOLATE-VANILLA SWIRL CAKE / MARBLE CAKE
Recipe adapted from Easy Cooking
Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 35-40 mins | Makes one 7” round cake
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and grease/flour a 7” round cake pan
- Sift together 1¼ cups of flour, 3 tbsp milk powder (leveled), 2 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp baking soda and set aside. Also measure out ¾ cup of milk (~180ml).
- Make a smooth paste of 1½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa & 1½ tbsp hot water and set aside to cool
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 100g butter & a little less than ¾ cup white sugar till light & fluffy
- To the butter-sugar mixture, alternately add the flour mix and milk, mixing well with a light hand after each addition. Start and end with the flour for a lump-less batter. (1/3 flour mix, ½ milk, 1/3 flour mix, ½ milk & rest of the flour mix)
- Transfer 1/3 of this batter to another bowl and mix in the cocoa paste till no streaks remain
- To the rest of the white batter, add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and mix well
- For a beautiful marbled effect, this is a fail-safe method
- Start with a checkerboard pattern by placing 4 blobs of the white batter such that they look like four end-points of a plus sign (+)
- Now, fill in spaces (you should have 5, corresponding to the points of an X) with blobs of the cocoa batter. The base of your pan should be covered by now. It’s okay not to be too perfect about this!
- For the second layer, alternate the batters in the same pattern i.e. top a white blob in the base with a cocoa blob in the second layer and vice versa, using up all your batter.
- Now, take a wooden spoon with a thin, rounded handle (something like the back of a honey dipper!). Use this to make a zigzag pattern horizontally (the white line), taking care to dip till the base while not scraping off the batter. Now make a zigzag pattern vertically (the black line). Don’t swirl too much or you’ll end up with a murky looking cake! (You really must forgive me for the dodgy squiggles on the image, but this was the best I could do on with my ancient mousepad!)
- Bake for 35-40 mins at 180°C and use a toothpick to check for doneness. I baked mine for 37 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Don’t slice it up before it cools or it might just fall apart!
ADAPTATIONS & HACKS
- Instead of using a round cake pan, you could use a bundt cake tin like in the original recipe (though I personally think the marbling gets a bit lost there). A great alternative is to use a loaf tin to make a pound cake – a 4”x8” loaf should be okay, I suppose. For any other shapes that you might want to try, just make sure you find one that’s the volume equivalent of a 7” round pan. Here’s something to help you out!
- If you don’t stock milk powder, feel free to use 3 tbsp of condensed milk
- If you want more of a chocolate kick in the cake, make the cocoa paste with 2 tbsp each of cocoa & hot water and mix this with a little less than ½ the white batter, so you have equal amounts of white & cocoa batter. (This is what the original recipe does!)
- Top this with a chocolate glaze or a ganache for even more chocolate goodness!