You will need
For the sponge:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the cake tin
250g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
5 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour, sifted
25g cocoa powder
Pink liquid food colour
Plain flour for dusting
Icing sugar for dusting
For the sugar syrup:
150g caster sugar
You will also need:
30cm (12 in) Kugelhupf or Bundt cake tin
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/Gas mark 4. Prepare the cake tin by greasing with softened butter and dusting with plain flour.
2. To make the sponge, place the butter, caster sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
3. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in two to three tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter.
4. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined.
5. Divide the batter into three even parts. Mix the first with a small amount of pink food colour to create a pale pastel shade. Mix the second with the cocoa powder and add the milk. Keep the third plain.
6. Pour the pink batter into the bottom of the prepared cake tin, followed by the chocolate batter and then finally the plain batter.
7. To ‘marble’ the mixture, gently fold through all three coloured layers with a fork or spatula.
8. Bake for approximately one hour, depending on your oven. If you are using a deeper cake tin, the sponge will take longer to cook. To check if the sponge is cooked, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.
9. While the sponge is baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the water and the caster sugar into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly.
10. Once the sponge is baked, let it rest for approximately 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with sugar syrup while it is still warm; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.
11. Once just warm, remove the sponge from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
12. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar before serving at room temperature.
Recipe, Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen (Quadrille)