Today I bring you a classic – a marble bundt cake. This is a perfect coffee cake or stay-at-home-because-it’s-raining-outside-and-you-have-nothing-better-to-do-cake or, in my case, a great present for my grandmother whom we decided to visit. This marble bundt cake is soft and moist, not too sweet and not packed with chocolate flavor, but still will not dissapoint any chocolate lover. This is the beauty of the marble cake – if you are one of those who can never decide whether to go with chocolate or vanilla, go with marble cake – it combines the two and, as a bonus, looks pretty cool. I decided to bake it in a bundt form because I was feeling a bit fancy and wanted to add something more special to the basic form of cake. To enhance the chocolate flavor (because, well…why not?), I poured over chocolate glaze and sprinkled some nuts.
There are numerous variations for making a marble cake, some call for cocoa powder and some call for chocolate. I went with chocolate because I prefer the softer texture and deep chocolate flavour. Also, even though it is a huge crowd pleaser, this cake can be whipped up in about 15 minutes, using just one bowl (yaaaay for less dishes to clean) and a hand whisk. Just be patient while mixing butter, sugar and eggs. Or, if you are having a lazy day and want to spare yourself the trouble of whisking, use a hand mixer. In my experience, it is crucial that the butter is very soft, at room temperature. It makes all the difference and gives you gorgeous, velvety and soft cake. Yumm!
preparation time: about 30 minutes
baking time: 60 minutes, 165°C/325 F
baking pan size: Φ22 cm/8,7 in
Ingredients for the batter:
140 g bittersweet chocolate, melted
150 g unsalted butter, softened
190 g sugar*
3 whole eggs
300 g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1,5 tsp baking powder
200 ml plain yoghurt
0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
*I used half brown, half regular white sugar. I really like the flavour of brown sugar and I think it gives a bit of a creamier texture, but adjust the type to your liking.
Ingredients for the chocolate glaze:
150 g bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp milk
a handful of nuts chopped into smaller pieces (I used roasted hazelnuts and almonds)
1. Start by preparing the bundt pan. Melt small chunk of butter (not specified in the ingredients list) and using a pastry brush, brush the sides and bottom of the pan and coat with thin layer of flour. Don’t forget the inner part of the bundt pan. This step is important because it ensures that your cake just pops right out of the pan.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a bowl of hot water or use a microwave. After the chocolate has melted, leave it aside to cool a bit until you make the batter.
3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer whisk together butter, which should be very soft, at room temperature, and sugar. Beat together until it gets really creamy and well combined, for about 3 minutes.
4. Add whole eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
5. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add flour mixture and yoghurt into the butter and egg mixture alternating and slowly mixing after each addition: first add a third of the flour and mix it in, then add half yoghurt and mix in, then flour and so on. Mix everything shortly, but make sure all is well combined. You should end up with a thick batter, but don’t worry – the cake will be beautifully moist from all the butter and yoghurt.
6. Separate roughly 2/3 of the batter and distribute it carelessly around the pan using just a spoon.
7. Pour melted chocolate from the beginning into the remaining batter, add cinnamon and stir well until you get an even colour chocolate batter. I like the idea of adding cinnamon to the chocolate batter (let’s be honest, I would add cinnamon to anything. Seriously.) because I feel like it enhances the flavour of chocolate. A 1/2 tsp of instant espresso powder would also do the trick. Or even a spoon of good old black coffee (beverage, not a spoon of coffee powder).
8. Using a spoon distribute the chocolate batter over the white batter and then the fun begins – take a butter knife and make marble effect by doing long and slow movements through the batter. At this point you will not be able to tell how the effect turned out, but cross your fingers because the magic begins in the oven.
9. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake at 165°C for about 60 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if the cake has finished baking: insert a toothpick or a sharp knife all the way to the bottom of the cake. When it comes out clean, with no wet batter on it, the cake is done.
10. After taking the cake out of the oven, leave it for about 15 minutes to rest. Then take a sharp thin knife and go all around the pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. When you flip it over, it should come out easily.
11. Finally, make a glaze. Melt chocolate, butter and milk into a thick glaze and pour over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle some chopped nuts over the cake, do it while the chocolate is still melted and soft so that the nuts would stick to the glaze and stay at their place.
12. After the glaze has set for about an hour at room temperature, cut right into the cake. Enjoy with a cup of milk or coffee.