For something different this Christmas why not try Anna Solomonides’s Marble Cake: the Most Beautiful Marble Cake in the World

Anna Solomonides was my mother-in-law and inspiration for becoming a chef.

This cake is known as Keik Yeorgraphias (Geography Cake).  I call it marble cake and it’s one of the cakes my mother-in-law taught me to make. She would use a glass to measure her ingredients and sometimes I still do this. It’s popular cake in my house and my children know how to make it and I’ve passed it down the family tree. I am hoping this recipe survives through many generations. The cake is round with a hole in the middle like a giant doughnut and when it’s sliced, it has a lovely marbled effect. Ideally you serve this with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. Delicious.


Serves 10-12

Ingredients

200 ml (7 floz) vegetable oil

225g (8oz) caster sugar

4 medium eggs

juice of 1 large orange and the zest

200 ml (7 fl oz) milk

A few drops of vanilla extract

450g (1 lb) plain, fine flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons cocoa powder or 100g (4 oz) 70% plain melted chocolate

2 tablespoons milk-extra

flaked almonds (optional)

For the topping:

Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375 f/ Gas Mark 5.

Beat together the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and gradually add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the orange juice, zest, milk and vanilla extract and fold in the sifted flour and baking powder until smooth.

Take one third of the cake mixture, place it in a small jug and mix in the cocoa powder or melted chocolate with the 2 tablespoons of extra milk.

Pour half the plain cake mixture into a greased and floured 1.2 litre (2 pint) cake ring known in Germany as a ‘Kugelhopt’* and pour the cocoa mixture into the ring. Pour the remaining cake mixture on top and do not worry if the cocoa mixture or chocolate is not completely covered. Tap the cake ring gently to level the surface, sprinkle the almonds (if using) and bake in the pre heated oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the cake is nicely brown (test with a skewer). Allow the cake to cool in the tin then place a plate on top of the tin and gently tip it upside down onto another plate. Finally, dust with icing sugar.

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