Clotilde made us a nice marble cake. In the past she convinced us with juicy blueberry cakes, a juicy chocolate cake and the unforgettable caneles. Now it’s time for the marble cake.
The marble cake I ate growing up was bought from the store. Her name is Savannah. The cake was created in the 1960s by a French manufacturer and was acquired by an American company shortly thereafter. The box was ocher brown and the cake was shaped like an oblong loaf.
The bottom of the cake was covered with a thin paper that had to be torn off as the cutting progressed. It was crumbly and light like only shopping cakes can be and I loved it.
My parents didn’t buy it for us. I don’t remember why, they bought lots of cakes in the store at our request. But it was only at my friend Emilie’s or after a separate descent into the salt and confectionery that I was able to enjoy this cake, preferably after a long afternoon spent in the swimming pool.
I hadn’t eaten it for years before eating it again as an adult. And that, of course, was a disappointment. Not only was the taste just a shadow of how I remembered it – the chocolate was dull, the vanilla wasn’t real – but it was the ingredient list that made me shake my head. . (And this cake is marketed as a simple, healthy snack for kids, so, you know, they can get their recommended dose of palm oil…).
The good news is that unlike other store-bought snacks from childhood, such as ghost-shaped potato chips and strawberry shoelaces, this cake is an attempt to imitate something, namely a cake. marble that you can actually make from scratch. This means that it is actually possible to recreate the original flavors.
And it’s even easier if a friend you trust has the recipe for the cake in one of her books.
The good idea with a marble cake is to deposit layers of dough of two different colors in the same cake pan. This way you get the cool visual effect when you cut (I already have to caution against taking the concept too far). Some recipes call for gently stirring the second batter into the first, so it has a marbled pattern, but the original Savannah is striped, much like a zebra (savannah, zebra, are you in?)
The chocolate and vanilla pastes are in principle identical. You can actually make one big dough, divide it in half and put it in vanilla and chocolate, respectively, but I think Pascal’s method is more fluid: he makes two parallel doughs side by side in separate bowls, a process that is very simple if you use a digital scale.
With Pascal’s recipe you get a beautiful and juicy cake and I think the secret lies in the syrup that you brush on the cake when it comes out of the oven. I’ve made it several times now and it’s a heart-throb: my French friends remember the savannah cake from the shop and I love that it’s simple, but a bit elegant, and I always get a question about the marbling technique.
Sometimes I use whipped cream in the batter, as Pascale advises, but most often I use yogurt or buttermilk (Viking milk, editor’s note): this means that the cake dries a little faster, but if you think the cake will be eaten in a few days anyway, would recommend.
Eventually I also included some modifications: I like to sprinkle cocoa between the layers and brighten the syrup with cocoa liquor, which you don’t want to taste in the cake itself, but will enhance the taste of the chocolate .
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