Marble Vanilla Chocolate Cupcakes

My life is quite a rollercoaster at the moment, but a fun one! September has always been an exciting month: it’s my birthday, the end of summer (I love autumn) and the start of a new school year. But after having spent my whole life in education, it came as quite a shock that this circle of annual renewal was suddenly over.

Don’t you find it hard to break with that new beginning routine once you have a job? September becomes just another month, without the novelty of new stuff to learn, new teachers and new people. Well, I’ve decided to take action! I’ve signed up for classes again! I found a little place that teaches interesting cookery classes and I got all excited when I found out they were offering cake decorating classes and Japanese cookery lessons. Hell, sign me up!

Those who know me are aware of the fact that I have an obsession with all things Japanese, and those who read my blog – well – you probably have gathered by now that cakes are my best friends. So, these classes are damn well perfect for me!Now, whilst I know that my cakes always look pretty yummy, I am well aware of the fact that they’re pretty plain. I don’t do intricate marzipan flowers, crazy icings or colourful rainbow creations.

I actually don’t want to change that. I’m a purist when it comes to cakes – no sparkling glitter, crazy sugar shapes or marzipan kitsch will ever make it onto my cakes (unless it’s a client order. Client? No clients  yet – so no need to worry about that).

So why take that cake decorating course? Because I want to learn the skills. I’m fascinated by discovering professional culinary techniques, finding out how things work and unveiling the mysteries that surround food. Call me nuts, but I’d much rather spend a day watching over the shoulder of a chef than attending a music festival.

Anyway, enough ramblings, here’s this week’s recipe. A childhood favourite of mine: a “Marmerkuch” (in Luxembourgish) or “Marble Cake”. It gets its funky pattern by layering a chocolate and a vanilla dough, then giving it a minor stir and you get the mable effect. I’ve added chocolate chips and almond shavings to the separate doughs, so that there’s a bit of a texture play at work. I hope you like them. They sure look very pretty.

Happy September and may you all enjoy your new start of the new ‘school’ year! ★

September 3, 2010