Derived from the traditional English marble cake, this Chec Summer Fruit Marble Cake is one of the most popular and versatile bakes in Romania. When it comes to flavours, there are no rules – you can use any of your favourite ones, then serve it glazed, topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream or just plain.
It is so popular that you can even find savoury versions! It is an incredibly light cake, and very refreshing with its bounty of summer fruits.
For the syrup:
- 200g (7oz) summer fruits (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tbsp sugar
For the cake:
- 4 eggs, separated
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150g (5oz) plain flour 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Icing sugar, for dusting
To make the syrup:
- In a deep pan, bring the fruits and sugar to the boil, then simmer on a medium heat for 10–12 minutes, or until soft and sticky.
- While still warm, pass through a sieve to squeeze out all of that wonderful juice – you should now have around 50ml (2fl oz) of dense, fruity syrup.
To make the cake:
- Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add the sugar gradually and whisk to a stiff meringue- like consistency.
- Combine the egg yolks with the oil.
- Fold into the egg whites and sugar.
- Sieve in the flour with the baking powder, combining well.
- Divide the mixture into two separate bowls.
- Fold the vanilla into one bowl and the fruit syrup to the other.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Grease and line a 25 x 13.5 x 9cm (10 x 51⁄2 x 31⁄2in) loaf tin, then starting in the centre, drop in 2 tablespoons of the vanilla batter followed by 2 tablespoons of the fruit batter. Continue alternating with the remaining batter – it will soon spread to fill the tin by itself. The mixture should come two thirds up the sides of the tin.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to rest in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool in a warm place.
- Dust with icing sugar then serve with fresh or poached fruits.
About the author
Irina Georgescu is a food writer born and bred in Romania, who has been living in the UK for the last 15 years. She is fascinated by the flavours and textures of Romanian cuisine and is excited to write and share its secrets with the world.
This recipe is available in her book ‘Carpathia, food from the heart of Romania’, available for purchase here. Her new book, Tava, is available here for pre-order now.