Chocolate Swirl Ciambella

Easter Inspiration Week is here! And I can’t wait any longer to hatch my Easter treats.  First up - Chocolate Swirl Cake - adapted from a recipe by Anna Burki. Anna owns Brisbane’s landmark Pasta Manufacturer, Pasta al Dente, in West End for over 34 years.  She comes from the fairytale town of Alberobello in Puglia, Southern Italy. This cake is perfect for family and friends dropping in for a cuppa over the Easter long weekend. No fancy icing or fuss required.

Ingredients- 250 grams caster sugar ❤ 300 grams self raising flour ❤ 200 grams unsalted butter, melted  ❤ 4 free range eggs, beaten well ❤ ½ cup full cream milk ❤ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ❤ 2 tablespoons cocoa &/OR  if making this after Easter use any left over Easter Eggs chopped up ❤ finely grated zest of 2 oranges  ❤ 2 tablespoons of Boronia Marsala, a sweet fortified wine rich and creamy, not expensive and available from most bottle shops 

Method + Top Tips - Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350°F). Grease and flour two small baba tins or one large baba tin (also known as kugelhopf with a hole in the centre).

Melt butter gently on the stovetop and allow to cool a little.

Beat eggs with an electric mixer.  Add sugar, vanilla, milk, butter, marsala and orange zest and mix until combined.  Add sifted flour and stir to combine with a large metal spoon. 

Pour ⅓ of the mixture into a separate bowl and add cocoa. Stir well to mix in. You may need a touch more milk added for consistency. Pour ½ of the original vanilla cake mix into the tin. Pour cocoa cake mix on top of this layer. Then finish with a layer of the remaining vanilla cake mix. e.g 3 layers - vanilla, choc, vanilla

Bake small cakes for approximately 30 mins and large cake for approximately 50 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.

Place on wire rack to cool. Turn out of tin when cooled and dust with icing sugar or cocoa, as you prefer. Serve with whipped cream or mascarpone if desired.

Seasonal Jotting

 What a great time of year. Perfect outdoor weather. Spring in the Northern Hemisphere & Autumn in the Southern, this change of season makes me feel revitalised and fortunate in so many ways. 

Easter at Weka Weka means the citrus trees are loaded with new fruit, just waiting for the cold weather. We can finally bring some firewood inside the old Queenslander. Frosty nights won’t be too far away.

Freshly laid sugar cane mulch in the Orchard will keep up the moisture over our dry, sunny Winter.  And hopefully stop those pesty weeds.  The paddock is still lush and the lawn has finally stopped growing while we watch it. Mudgeeraba Creek is flowing fast and if we stop long enough on the edge a local platypus might pop up. The cold spring water running down from Springbrook Mountain is very refreshing. The snakes must have gone into hibernation. I didn’t even meet our resident carpet python this past Summer. 

The veggie patch is happy to farewell Summer and grateful for all the beautiful rain we’ve received. The baby cherry tomatoes, chillies and last of the passionfruit are delightful. I made a batch of Passionfruit Curd and Sweet Tomato Relish for the MFK Preserves Club today, both incredibly fragrant. Preserving is the best kind of therapy.