1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp natural vanilla extract (I used extract)
185g unsalted butter, chopped
230g (1 cup) caster sugar
280g (2 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
185ml (3/4 cup) milk
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbs warm milk, extra
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease a 25x11x7.5cm loaf tin and line hte base with baking paper.
If using the vanilla bean, split it down the middle and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds (or extract) in a bowl with the butter and sugar and, using electric beaters, cream the mixture until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, then fold it into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk until combines. Divide the mixture in half and put the second half into another bowl.
Combine the cocoa powder and warm milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth, then add to one half of cake mixture, stirring to combine well. Spoon the two mixtures into the prepared tin in alternate spoonfulls. Usin a metal skewer, cut through the mixture four times to create a marble effect. Bake for 50-60mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tine for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Will keep for 3-4 days, also suitable to freeze.