vanilla chocolate marble cake

this is a lovely simple cake and especially good if you can eat it still warm from the oven - i like to make it in the morning if i'm expecting friends later that day.

 apparently getting a marbled effect can be a bit tricky but the approach used here is one that makes it a bit easier:

“swirls of rich chocolate marbled through a vanilla cake seems straightforward enough, but with a few secrets you can make this even easier. you may notice that the large quantity of chocolate folded through the batter thins it – potentially a concern. but a curious thing about chocolate is that the cocoa solids dry the cake batter as it bakes, so the final texture stays balanced. spooning the mixtures in alternately means that when it comes to swirling everything together, you're already halfway there. this makes it much more likely each slice will contain dark and white cake.”

dan lepard’s vanilla chocolate marble cake (serves 6-8)

100g unsalted butter, softened

25ml sunflower oil

75g crème fraiche

175g caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 medium eggs

100g dark chocolate

50ml milk

200g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

line the base and sides of a small loaf tin with non-stick baking paper and heat the oven to 180c.

melt the chocolate (over a bain marie or in a microwave) then stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce.

put the butter, oil, crème fraiche and caster sugar in a bowl and beat until almost white and whipped. add the vanilla and eggs then beat well again until the mix is very smooth and the sugar has dissolved. don't worry if the mixture looks split or separated – it won't affect the result. measure out the flour and baking powder in another bowl.

sift the flour in with the butter mixture and mix well. spoon half of the mixture into another bowl and beat in the chocolate.

spoon both mixtures into the tin in alternate blobs then swirl slightly together with a skewer. tap the tin on the bench firmly to get rid of air pockets, then bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

leave to cool in the tin then unwrap. ice with the cupcake frosting (see below) if you like. this cake will keep for 2-3 days if wrapped well, or you could freeze it.