I miss the good old days where innocence ruled (for the most part), daggy was almost cool and you were able to say ‘I want to have a gay old time today‘ without facing a barrage of unpolitically correct giggles, raised eyebrows and horrified looks. In this fast-paced cynical world, we all need a serious injection of daggy fun and kitsch in our lives. Trust me, Liberacé was on to something, and he was the most um, festive person as far as I know!
Coming off the tangent here, while digging into the depths of hell – i.e. massive bedroom clearout – I came across a crumbly, yellow piece of paper with a hastily scribbled recipe. The faded pencil writing was barely discernible but I managed to put two and two together to see what recipe it was that warranted a harried scribble and a stint as an accidental bookmark.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Tiger Cake! How’s that for daggy cool? Don’t believe me? The recipe listed margarine and drinking chocolate powder in the ingredients – what retro gastronomique! I believe it was an old Family Circle recipe and to have it turn up by random between book pages was a nostalgic find indeed so was there any question that I was going to make it?
As with most cakes back in the day, the original batter was thick and laden with flour, which makes for quite a dense and dry cake. I’ll leave you with the original recipe so you could do your own adjustments but if you wish to know, I added an extra egg, a splash of vanilla extract and about 1/2 cup of milk to make the batter easier to spread in the tin. I think next time I’d add a touch more liquid to it as personally, I love my cakes soft and moist!
Aah, Tiger Cake, a marbled, psychedelic combination of swirled lemon-tinged and chocolate cake. This cake must’ve been the epitomy of bakery cool and setting trends back in the day. In 2009? It’s just fabulously kitsch.
Fabulously Kitsch Tiger Cake
185g butter, softened (or margarine if you want to be authentically retro)
1 C caster sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 C self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup of cream
3 Tbl of sweetened cocoa (again, or drinking chocolate powder for nostalgia’s sake).
(If using a bittersweet cocoa you could add a Tbl of sugar to sweeten)
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease well a bundt or ring cake tin.
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind until creamy, pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each edition.
Stir in the flour and salt alternatively with the cream and beat until smooth and combined.
Take out a 1/3 of the batter and add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
Spoon half of the white/lemon batter into the bottom of the cake tin and level out. Then spoon the chocolate batter over the top and level.
Spoon the last remaining white/lemon batter on top and smooth. Take a fork or a skewer and make with the swirlage.
Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes but check it after 35. The original recipe stated 50 minutes but in my oven it was ready at 40 and was still too brown on the outside so I’m guessing it would’ve take 35 minutes? Cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Serve plain or alternatively, melt 100g of dark cooking chocolate in a bowl over hot water and add a few drops of vegetable oil. Pour over the cake, letting run down the sides in a seductive fashion.