Sunday, 22 January 2012

New job nerves, Random Recipes and Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake

I start a new job tomorrow. 

I'm feeling nervous. Excited, but nervous. 

Its a little like starting school, a new job. 

For instance, I bought some new shoes yesterday. Sadly not 1980s favourite Clarks Magic Key shoes (want to be a Princess? Check out the retro ad) or 1990s favourites, Doctor Martins. And I bought some new pens (it is the NHS afterall) and almost bought me a pencil case. 

How I loved the pre-new school year pencil case shopping! That trip to WHSmith, the thoughtful deliberation in the stationary aisle and upon return home the careful organisation of new pens, pencils, rulers and that compass you'd use only once a year in the annual trigonometry lesson.

To sooth my nerves, I baked. And because Dan Lepard states "I truly believe that life is improved by cake", I turned to his most brilliant Short and Sweet: The Best of Home Baking and made this lovely, lovely Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake. The best thing about Dan's recipes, as  a lot of bloggers know, is that his recipes really do work. Plus the book has this fancy 'double fan adhesive binding' which means it stays open on the page you want when baking, always most helpful.

And as the book was a present at Christmas, this post is winging its way over to Dom off of Belleau Kitchen's Random Recipes Challenge. The theme this month is 'New Year, New Book'. 

The original recipe can be found on page 146 of Short and Sweet. Dan has some top tips for marbling right here in the Guardian. 

Baker's notes...
  • The original recipe used plain caster sugar and stirred in 100g chopped dark chocolate to the chocolate mix before it went into the tin. I used caster sugar infused with a vanilla pod and skipped out the chopped chocolate
  • This was a really popular cake- given to my old colleagues on my last day- and Dan suggests eating it warm with a generous pouring of custard
  • I didn't buy myself Magic Key shoes yesterday. Disappointingly they discontinued them 22 years ago.

Random Recipes #12 - January


  1. I still buy stationery to calm myself! Hope you get on well in your new job.

    Love the cake!

  2. Good luck with the new job! Baking cake is a great idea to sooth the nerves. I saw this recipe as well and it's on my to bake list. It really does look delicious and I love your cute little green cake stand!

  3. Good Luck for the new job! I'm jealous that you had magic key shoes. As a little girl I always wanted them but they didn't make the shoes in a wide enough fitting for my (obviously fat!) feet ;-)

    I love this cake when I made it - I missed off the crumble, but I did add the chocolate chunks to the chocolate mix and have to say I really felt they added to the cake - something to think about if/when you make it again. It had a lovely soft moist texture didn't it!

  4. Have a fab first day! Stationery is very soothing.

  5. Yum, chocolate crumble! If you take in tasty treats like this to your new work place then you'll be an instant hit! Hope everything goes well with the new job. Stationary always helps. I remember going through a MASSIVE glitter gel pen phase at school!

  6. Good luck for the new job! I love getting new stationery too! The cake looks great.

  7. Teehee - a new pencil case! You do make me laugh ;0)
    Good luck for the new job, you'll be ace I am sure. Take some crumble and they will be putty in your hands!

  8. I was going to make this today but I made a huge mistake instead... I'm so excited for you and your new job... have the best day tomorrow and take in some cake.. they'll all love you... oh and a word of advice... don't talk to the nasty children who stand in the corner and smoke... thanks for taking part honey xxx

  9. Good luck for tomorrow. The cake looks scrummy. I don't think they did magic key shoes in the 60s, sadly! Teaching is the same, we used to get one red pen and one black for the year, and by the summer term I was often buying stationary for the whole of my class, I always think a new pencil is a fine thing!

  10. Lovely looking cake. Good luck with the new job. I do enjoy a good bit of stationery, although, once I get it home I instantly lose it.

  11. Great looking cake! I can't remember if I've made this one. If not, I should rectify the situation soon!

    Good Luck with the new job!

  12. Oh my goodness! Princess shoes! They were amazing. I was also a fan of DMs. Mainly my green marbled ones with steel toe caps. "Trendy"
    Good luck in your new job. What is it?

  13. What a gorgeous looking cake, which I somehow have managed to miss from Dan Lepard's book so far. I will look it up now as yours looks just perfect!
    Hope the new job is going well and that your new work colleagues are a sweet toothed bunch :-]xx

  14. Glad you like the book (Short & Sweet) but could I ask you to take the recipe (ingredients and method) off your blog ? There are two reasons: the first is that the recipe is, like the rest of the book, copyright and not to be reprinted elsewhere. The second is that all food writers, including Dan Lepard, rely on book sales for part of their income and to recompense them for the time they've spent writing the book. If the recipes are just casually reprinted on websites, pretty soon the whole book is online and nobody buys it. So we would thank you for not republishing any of Dan's recipes.
    David Whitehouse, Editor, Short & Sweet

  15. Hope your first day went really, really well ..... I think the hardest part is trying to remember all the names!!!!

    Great idea to bake a delicious cake in celebration.

  16. Having a Magic Key shoes reminiscence now - ah, those where the days! Thinking about it, I probably segued straight from Magic Keys to DMs... The cake looks fantastic - hope the first day was at least passable, if not fantastic - since that's a high standard for any first day!

  17. I'd love a pair of Magic Key Shoes, just the thing to get you through those sticky moments. The cake looks delicious and I really like the sound of chocolate crumble. GG

  18. Oh my god I always wanted a pair of magic key shoes, I had completely forgotten they existed! Looks like a delicious cake - hope the new job is going well!


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