Gardening has taken me away from almost everything these last two weeks. No blogging, no piano, practically no reading, and cooking kept to the bare minimum… All this sacrificing just so I could spend my days outside, on my knees, in the flower beds, inspired by two great bloggers and gardeners, Jack and Kathryn. After so many days of dry weather with cold easterly winds (and me digging in the hardening soil) it is finally raining today, a good steady drizzle, just enough for 1) our peas, strawberries, rose bushes and newly planted flowers to be happy and 2) for me to come back to my dear neighbors for a delicious gluten-free marble cake recipe, tested and approved by everyone, family and friends alike. Out of curiosity, I took a look at what is out there just before starting this post ; most recipes call for more eggs and definitely a lot more sugar ! My marble cake still tastes deliciously sweet, and this I attribute to the chestnut flour I use to make it. Unfortunately, this pricey ingredient is not readily found around the globe ; so I am well aware that this recipe may not be made by many of you, unless maybe you use organic, unsulphured almond meal as a substitute. Still, I wish to share it with you as I make it: this is one of those gluten-free and starch-free truly successful cakes and so here we go !
Ingredients ( for a regular cake loaf pan, serves about 10)
– 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
– 130 g (= 4.6 oz) unrefined cane sugar
– 50 ml (= 1.75 fl oz) grapeseed oil ; I have tried with olive oil and the cake wasn’t quite as good
– 50 ml (= 1.75 fl oz) non-dairy milk (soy or almond) ; if it is unsweetened you may want to add a tsp more sugar ; you may also use regular milk if you like
– 60 g (= 2.1 oz) chestnut flour + 60 g (= 2.1 oz) rice flour, well combined
– ¼ tsp baking soda + freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 10 g (0.35 oz ) unsweetened cocoa powder
– ½ tsp organic vanilla extract, with no « funny » ingredients please, by which I mean no « aroma », no « caramel coloring », and so on…
You also need a loaf pan, lined with greased parchment paper, and your kitchen scale nearby !
(Turn on the oven to 180°C / 355°F, traditional heat)
1. Beat the yolks and the sugar until mixture turns a pale yellow color and bubbles form at the surface.
2. Add in the liquid (oil and milk) and stir, then add the flour mix and baking soda, activated with some lemon juice. Combine well.
4. Beat the egg whites until peaks form and gently fold into your batter.
Now is the time to make the two different flavored batches, unequal in quantities :
6. Take out 180 g of the batter into a smaller bowl and mix in your 10 g of cocoa powder, as gently as you can and with the help of a sieve : remember, you’ve got beaten egg whites in there !
7. Add the ½ tsp vanilla extract to the remaining batter. Don’t forget to wash your chocolate-covered spatula before doing it!
8. Pour about half of the vanilla batter at the bottom of your loaf pan . Pour the chocolate batter on top, without worrying about doing it evenly or reaching the edges of the pan. Finish by pouring the rest of the vanilla batter on top. At this point, you can also quickly swirl the batter with a knife or a toothpick.
9. Bake between 40 and 45 minutes, covering with a loose piece of foil or greaseproof paper after 20 minutes. It rises nicely, and smells so good…
This cake is really soft, perfect for a picnic with your family or friends ! I have not had the opportunity of trying to freeze it: every single time my guests finished it; but I feel fairly sure that you can keep it sliced in your freezer for a little while!
If ever you decide to make it with another type of flour, please let me know how it tastes. I love to hear about my neighbors’ experience ! And finally, while alone with my weeds, I thought of a more original, chocolate-free version of this marble cake, but it will be a while before I test it ; I hope you will forgive me for making you wait… So long, I hope life is treating you well, dear neighbors!