When I was a kid I used to watch loads of cooking tv shows. One of my favourite people to watch was Lorraine Pascale – she would make the most beautiful food, and desserts that were always so simple but looked delicious. This recipe always stayed with me from one of her shows, and reminds me of my family. It is one of the first things I ever baked and I used to always do it with my sister. The sponge is beautifully light and moist, like a fancy marble cake in a way. There’s some delicious flavours of orange, chocolate and vanilla, and it’s also great with an afternoon tea or coffee! Why not have a slice for breakfast too?
- 250 ml flavourless oil
- 250 g caster sugar
- 100 ml milk
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 g flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 25 g cocoa powder
- zest of 1 orange
- chocolate ganache, optional
- Prepare a round tin (I have tried with different sized tins, anything from a tall 6 inch to 8 inch works) by slightly greasing it, and line the bottom with some parchment paper. Set aside, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Put the oil, sugar, milk, eggs and 1/2 of the vanilla into a large bowl and whisk everything together. Pour out 400 g of this mixture into another bowl.
- Place 175 g of flour and half the baking powder into one of the bowls. Add in the other 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix well. This is your vanilla mixture.
- Into the other bowl place the remaining 125 g of flour with the other half of the baking powder, alongside the cocoa powder and orange zest. Mix well. This is your chocolate mixture.
- To create the zebra pattern, pour the vanilla and chocolate batters into the centre of the pan, alternating between flavours, creating concentric circles. Once all of your batter is used up, tap the tin on the countertop two to three times to get rid of any large air bubbles.
- Bake anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes depending on the size of your tin, until a toothpick from a centre comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back. If after 20 minutes the cake starts browning too much, cover the tin with some aluminium foil.
- Let cool completely after baking before taking it out of the tin. If you’d like, you could top it with a simple chocolate ganache: just heat 120 g of double cream and pour over 200 g of dark chocolate; mix until all melted and combined. Once cooled, spread the ganache on top of the cake and enjoy with a cup of tea or a coffee!