lime syrup marble cake
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Smell is a funny sense. They say grapefruit can make you feel better with its smell alone – which is good news for a lot of people who are not keen on grapefruit. Apparently Victoria Beckham used to carry a piece of grapefruit with her all the time, to sniff at it occasionally. One only hopes she didn’t just carry it unwrapped in her designer pocket and that she replaced it with fresh fruit every now and then.
Cooking smells are gorgeous (I conceitedly trust it’s the case when I cook) but they don’t make you salivate when still lingering on the next morning. Durian, the dubious king of fruit is described as ‘heaven on the inside, hell on the outside’ and apparently smells like gym socks or rotten meat. VB would not carry that around, would she? Leeks and onions stink when raw and chopped, bliss when fried in a little butter. Cabbage? Don’t start me off there.
The point here, which might have got a little off the radar, is that smell does not always go together with the taste – except limes. Limes both smell and taste gorgeous. The best bit in making this cake was grating the lime zest.
Well – almost the best bit. Eating it isn’t bad either.
lime syrup marble cakeServings: 12-14Time: 2 hours
- zest grated from 5 limes
- 174g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 25ml (1½ tbsp.) vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 150g (2/3 cup) crème fraiche
- 75g (1/3 cup) butter, melted and cooled
- 200g (1½ cup) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp. cocoa
- For the syrup:
- 100ml (½ cup) lime juice (roughly 4 limes)
- 100g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
Line the base and sides of a deep round 18cm (7in) cake tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Beat the sugar with the oil, zest and eggs until smooth and slightly thickened. Add the crème fraiche and the melted butter and beat in well. Mix the flour with the baking powder, then beat into the cake mix, make sure the zest is evenly distributed and doesn’t cling in clumps to the mixer beaters.
Pour two thirds of the mix into the prepared tin and beat the cocoa into the rest. Spoon the cocoa mixture on top of the light cake batter in blobs, then swirl around with a skewer.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, keeping it in the tin.
In the meantime prepare the syrup: squeeze the juice from the limes and gradually mix into the icing sugar until clear. Jab the cake with a skewer all over, spoon a third of the syrup over the top and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat, until all the syrup is used up. Cool completely before removing from the tin and serving.