Breakfast,  Sweet

Chocolate and vanilla marble cake and the perils of laying at altitude

Our hens lay their eggs in hay-filled wooden boxes on shelves in my husband’s untidy toolshed workshop. Naturally, they don’t lay in any old boxes;  these are exceedingly posh vintage wine boxes. Three of our more intrepid hens are into extreme sports and like to lay altitude eggs on the higher shelves, while the more cowardly lay at ground level. Yesterday afternoon we heard an unusual and hysterically distressed screeching noise coming from the workshop, very different from the customary ‘get out of my face bitch or I’ll do you over’ squawking. Upon investigation, it appeared that two of the intrepids had been trying to lay in the same high altitude box at the same time and had ended up in a heap on the ground, imprisioned in the box that had landed on top of them. Luckily both they and their eggs were intact or I suspect we’d have been eating coq au vin omelette for dinner. 😉
250g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
125g butter
125g extra virgin organic coconut oil
100g honey
100g cane sugar
5 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Divide the mixture in two and add the cocoa powder to one half, combining well. Set aside. Cut the butter and coconut oil into cubes and leave to soften at room temperature. Beat the butter and coconut oil with an electric mixer for about ten minutes until fluffy and then gradually add the sugar and honey, continuing to beat. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk for another few minutes. Add and combine the vanilla extract. Half the mixture and gently fold in the plain flour mixture to one half and the cocoa powder and flour mixture to the other. Transfer the mixtures to a buttered loaf tin, alternating one spoon of plain mixture, one spoon of cocoa mixture. Bake for 80 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


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