This is a luscious moist and indulgent cake for any occasion. In our family we tend to save it until Christmas and it looks so impressive when brought to the table that guests will go “wow”. The original recipe came from our relative Auntie Joan who lived in Lemington Spa in the Midlands. Auntie Joan’s daughter wrote it down and handed it to her Auntie Phyllis (my grandma) but we don’t know where Auntie Joan got the recipe from. I’ve researched American Ice Box Cake but can’t find anything that looks like this. Maybe the name is different or it comes from another country. If you recognise this recipe or cake picture and have some thoughts as to it’s origin please do tell! None of my friends or extended family have seen or heard of this cake before and I’ve asked a few American friends I have and they too are clueless! I’m intrigued!
So this is an extra special recipe of my family’s that I am sharing and I hope you too will enjoy it! If you like marble cake and cream then you’re in for a real treat! I know it’s my brother’s favourite pudding and mum made a giant version as a birthday cake for him last year! Totally gobsmackingly awesome!
What you need to know:
Prep time: 1 hour inc. baking sponge
Chill time: 2-3hours
Oven Temp.: 220 degrees C
Ingredients for 12 slices (or 6 whoppers!):
1 fatless sponge eg. Swiss roll (plain):
3 oz/85g caster sugar
3 oz/85g gluten-free plain flour
4oz/110g dark chocolate certified gluten-free
1 ½ tbsp water
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
2 eggs (separated)
½ pint/300ml thick double cream
pinch of salt
a few drops of vanilla essence
glace cherries and green angelica
1. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/Gas mark 7. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch swiss roll tin or large flat shallow baking tray and then line with greaseproof paper.
2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer on high until the mixture is light and frothy and the whisk leaves a ribbon train when lifted out of the bowl. Sift the gluten free flour into the mixture, carefully folding it in at the same time. Do not over mix or your cake will not be as light. Pour into the prepared tin and gently using a palette knife or the back of a spoon level it out, making sure that it spreads into the corners.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the sponge is golden brown and has begun to shrink from the edges of the tin.
4. Leave to cool slightly until it is cool enough for you to handle with bare hands. You can begin to make the sauce while the cake is cooling. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of water. Make sure the gas or electric ring is not on high otherwise the chocolate will melt quickly, burn or turn sticky. Slower melting gives a nicer fluid texture to the chocolate.
5. Beat up the egg YOLKS (only), sugar and water then add to the softened chocolate mixture-stir until thickened .Make sure you don’t overcook the chocolate-egg mixture. Don’t let it boil. Cool and add a few drops of vanilla essence.
6. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and add to the cooled chocolate mixture.
7. Using a round (deep) bowl, break up the sponge cake and place in the bottom of the bowl, spread a little chocolate sauce.
8. Continue to layer the sponge cake and chocolate mixture until all the ingredients have been used up. This will be your marble effect inside. Make sure you finish with sponge and that everything is compact and tight. (If you have too much sponge and it looks dry make up some more chocolate mixture as above to keep it moist as you go along)
9. Place in the refrigerator with a plate on top to press it down and chill for 2-3 hours.
10. Take the cake out of the fridge and take it out of the glass bowl by carefully using a knife to lever it out or place the bowl in shallow hot water in the sink to ease it out. Turn upside down onto a plate.
11. Put the cream, pinch of salt, drops of vanilla essence and tsp sugar in a bowl. Whip the ingredients until stiff and spread over the entire cake-it should look like a Bombe. Decorate around the bottom alternating glace cherries and strips of angelica. Cover the top with grated chocolate and then keep in the fridge until ready to be served.
12. Serve alone or with single cream, ice cream or custard.
Alternative: For an extra sweet fun filled version try adding things like glace cherries, mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, caramelized nuts, dried pineapple, coconut, mango, papaya or fresh berries in sections 7 and 8 whilst layering the chocolate sauce and swiss roll sponge.