It feels like an age since I made a cake, a feeling born out by the date stamps on the eggs I had in the kitchen, but we're having something of a family outing this weekend which will probably include a picnic, and a baked offering seems in order.
I was going to go for something tried and tested but also wanted a loaf cake, and (probably) due to having traditionally used to small loaf tins I've always made a bit of a mess of them (specifically they've always escaped the tin and welded themselves to the bottom of the oven). I've got a sensibly sized tin now (along with a slight sense of shame that it's taken so many years to sort that out) so in turn it was time for a new recipe.
Trine Hahnemann's 'Scandinavian Baking' looked like a good place to start, and after procuring fresh eggs I settled on Apricot and Chocolate marble cake (a favourite combination). The recipe is a simple pound cake with 250g of butter and 250g of sugar creamed together, then 4 lightly beaten eggs added along with 220g of plain flour at which point the mixture needs to be split in half. 2 tbsp of cocoa powder (as I write this I realise I misread it as 50g earlier...) and 50g of finely chopped best dark chocolate will be added to 1 half of the mix, 50g of finely chopped apricots to the other. After that first the chocolate mix and then the apricot goes into a 2 llb (900g) greased loaf tin and is sort of mixed up a bit for marbling purposes before going into an oven at 180 degrees C or has 4 to be cooked for an hour or until done.
I'm still not entirely familiar with my new fan oven or how it needs to be adjusted temperature wise so after an hour and a half I was getting worried about the cake that would not bake. The end result is one that's a little dry on the outsides - though definitely not burnt. I note with interest that the picture in the book shows something similar though I'm hoping a slight temperature adjustment will give something a bit less crunchy round the edges in future. Otherwise it's a great cake - not to sweet despite the quantity of sugar (the recipe says serves 8-10 - which it will) and it'll be very good with a cup of tea or coffee.