This rich, moist marbled chocolate and vanilla kefir cake is covered in a delicious chocolate fudge icing. It tastes so good it's hard to believe it is such an easy cake to make.
I have made quite a few cakes using yogurt with great success. The acidity of the yogurt reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to give the cake extra lift during the baking. It also tends to give the cake a lovely moist crumb.
But it was while watching The Great British Bake Off during dairy week when contestants were challenged to make a cake using a milk product such as yogurt, soured cream or buttermilk, it occurred to me that kefir might work as well.
In fact, given that kefir is right on trend at the moment, I was surprised none of the contestants tried it. Perhaps it wouldn't work!
What is Kefir
Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, similar to yogurt but thinner, It is originally from the Urals, the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe.
Kefir has a tart, sour taste and a slight ‘fizz’. This is due to carbon dioxide – the end product of the fermentation process. Kefir is a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotic bacteria. You can find out more about kefir here.
Can you use Kefir to make a Cake?
I expected the kefir to have a similar effect to using yogurt because the acidity would react with the raising agent in the same way and the carbon dioxide already present in the kefir would also give a kick start to the rise.
It would also give the cake extra flavour. Because it is quite sour it compliments chocolate particularly well and I have to say that I was really pleased with the results. The cake had a really light texture, moist crumb and lots of flavour.
As my youngest had just returned to uni, this cake was far too tempting to be left at home for long so Mr B took most of it into his office the next day. Most people arrive at the office just before 9am, by 9.10am it had all gone.
The verdict was you most definitely can use Kefir to make a cake and it will taste amazing. A win win!
Can you use Yogurt instead of Kefir?
Yes, you could, but yogurt tends to be thicker so you may want to "water" it down a little with some milk before measuring. The flavour will not be quite the same but it will still be good.
How to decorate your chocolate and Vanilla Kefir Cake
I have covered my kefir cake with a delicious chocolate fudge icing. It's very easy to make just melt everything together in a bowl over hot water.
When it comes to covering the trick is to let it cool sufficiently so that it thickens slightly. It should be like very thick cream. Pour over the cake and use a palette knife to help cover the sides.
You can hurry the cooling process along a little by standing the bowl in cold water, stirring frequently. If cools too much gently rewarm it.
If it is not cooled sufficiently it will run off the cake leaving you only a thin layer. If you place the cake on a tray first you can always scrape up the icing and pour it over as another layer.
To finish, I melted a little milk chocolate and spooned this into a piping bag and drizzled bake and forth over the cake. You could do this with the back of a spoon if you liked.
Love chocolate as much as I do? Then check out these chocolate cakes
Step by step Chocolate and Vanilla Kefir Cake
Chocolate and Vanilla Kefir Cake
- 20cm (8in round) deep cake tin
- baking parchment
- stand or hand Mixer
- piping bag
For the cake
- 50 g plain (dark) chocolate (2oz)
- 250 g butter softened (9oz), plus extra to grease
- 300 g golden caster sugar (11oz)
- 3 large eggs
- 300 g plain flour (11oz)
- 1½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250 ml kefir (9floz)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 150 g plain (dark) chocolate broken into pieces (5oz)
- 2 tablespoon water
- 125 g butter cut into cubes (4oz)
- 50 g milk chocolate broken into pieces (2oz)
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8in) deep round cake tin.
- Place 50g (2oz)chocolate broken into pieces in a bowl and stand over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Beat 250g (9oz) butter and 300g (11oz) caster sugar together for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Beat in 3 large eggs one at a time.
- Sift 300g (11oz) flour and 1½teaspoon bicarbonate soda into the bowl and fold in with a large metal spoon or spatula.
- When the flour is almost folded in, add 250ml (9floz) kefir and continue to fold in until all the ingredients are just combined.
- Spoon half the cake mixture into another bowl and mix 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into one portion and the melted chocolate and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder into the other.
- Spoon the alternate cake mixture into the prepared tin then marble together with a dinner knife. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Once the cake is completely cold. Place 150g (5oz) plain chocolate broken into pieces in a bowl and add 2 tablespoon water and 125g (4oz) butter cut into cubes. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and heat stirring until the chocolate and butter have melted and combined together to form a smooth mixture.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool stirring frequently until thickened into a spreadable consistency. Pour over the cake and spread over the top and sides. Allow to set for about 1 hour.
- Break 50g (2oz) milk chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl over hot water. Heat stirring until melted. Pipe or drizzle back and forth over the cake to decorate. Allow to set before serving.
- up to 1 week in and airtight container in a cool place, ideally the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Freeze undecorated for up to 6 months.