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Marbled chocolate feather cake


Serves: 10
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Marbled chocolate feather cake
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Marbled chocolate feather cake

This impressive chocolate cake is much easier to make than it looks - the feathers are made using a pastry brush!

Serves: 10
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
435Kcal
Fat
25gr
Saturates
15gr
Carbs
44gr
Sugars
31gr
Fibre
2gr
Protein
6gr
Salt
0.6gr

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes
Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate feathers
  • 100g chocolate of your choice, chopped (we used both white and milk chocolate)
  • edible gold lustre spray, optional
For the chocolate icing
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Step by step

Get ahead
Make the chocolate feathers several days ahead. Store in a container in the fridge. The cake keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin (measuring about 10cm x 20cm on the base).
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a mixing bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, the orange zest and juice to make a paste. Set aside.
  3. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt to another mixing bowl; beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until pale and creamy. Mix half in with the cocoa paste, and add the milk and vanilla to the plain cake mix.
  4. Add alternating spoonfuls of the light and dark mixtures to the loaf tin until both are used up. Use a table knife to swirl the mixtures together, then bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake is set and a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10-15 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Melt the chocolate for the feathers in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (try not to stir until the chocolate has melted, especially for white chocolate which is more temperamental). Leave to cool and start to thicken slightly.
  6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Using a pastry brush (one with bristles, not a silicone brush), dip in the chocolate and roughly draw the centre line of a feather, around 8-10cm long. Now brush outwards from the centre line, using less pressure as you move out so that the chocolate feathers at the end, dipping the brush in chocolate again as needed. Repeat to make more feathers, then chill for a few minutes until just set. If you want curved feathers, lay the paper with the feather tips resting up against a rolling pin. Repeat to build up another layer of chocolate, then use a cocktail stick to add further definition to the edges of each feather. Spoon the remaining melted chocolate into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a central rib down each feather. Spritz with edible gold lustre which helps define the texture, then chill again until set.
  7. For the icing, simply place the dark chocolate, butter, syrup, vanilla and a small pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, and leave to melt. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool slightly if it’s very runny, then pour over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  8. To serve, carefully peel the chocolate feathers from the paper and arrange on top of the cake.

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