Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy birthday! Part 1

Today my baby girl Emily turns one. It's the common lament of most parents but it really is true: where has the time gone? This past year has really flown by and she is growing up so quickly.

We are having a proper party to celebrate on the weekend, and I've already planned the birthday cake from The Australian Women's Weekly birthday cake book. But for our little family dinner tonight I made a sweet little marble cake, all swirls of multi-coloured cake butter, topped with rose-pink icing and silver cachous.

The marble cake is very easy to make (although it does use a few bowls) and can be whipped up in surprisingly quick time. It is a basic butter cake mix that is coloured with cocoa and pink food colouring. It makes a lovely afternoon tea cake but is also nice for a little birthday celebration, particularly for a gorgeous little girl.

Marble cake

This is not a huge cake, so I make it in a loaf tin, which makes a good-sized bar cake. However, you could double the mixture and make it in a square or round cake tin (you may need to adjust the cooking time to suit).

50g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
125ml milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tablespoon milk, extra
few drops of rose-pink food colouring

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees fan-forced). Grease and line a loaf tin (it usually measures about 10cm x 24cm).

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gently beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Sift the flour and mix in alternately with the milk. Divide the mixture into three bowls. Beat the sifted cocoa and bicarb soda and the milk into one bowl. Add a few drops of rose-pink food colouring (a little goes a long way but you do want this to have a strong colour) into the second bowl. Leave the third bowl plain.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture into the prepared cake tin. When finished, use a skewer to swirl through the mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes (you may need to cover the top with foil if the top is browning too quickly) or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for about five minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When cold, ice with a basic butter icing (beat 25g softened butter, 125g sifted icing sugar and a few teaspoons of boiling water until smooth. Add a few drops of rose-pink food colouring, mix to a smooth consistency and ice) and decorate with silver cachous or sprinkles.


Suzie said...

Happy birthday to your little girl. There is nothing more perfect than a marble cake for a girly birthday.

Melinda said...

Hi Suzie - I agree! Thanks for your lovely comment.