How did Marble Bundt Cakes Become so Dull? The cake—it is cake, so don’t kid yourself—should be a delight to eat. It is the ultimate coffee accompaniment, and when made correctly it is the perfect yin-yang dessert. Unfortunately, many marble cakes lack any distinction between the chocolate and vanilla components; the chocolate flavor is no more interesting than brown food coloring. Our recipe is a tribute to the classic marble bundt, with a rich chocolate flavor (thanks to the combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder) that contrasts nicely with the delicate vanilla swirl. If you’re going to eat cake for breakfast, it should be this one.
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate. When the chocolate is completely smooth, add the cocoa powder and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and ribbonlike. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix for 30 seconds.
Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl before each addition and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Do not overmix.
Pour one third of the cake batter into the chocolate swirl mixture. Use a spatula to combine the chocolate mixture and the batter to make a smooth chocolate batter.
Spread half of the remaining plain cake batter in the prepared pan. Use an ice cream scoop to dollop the chocolate cake batter directly on top of the plain cake batter. The dollops will touch and mostly cover the plain batter, but some plain batter will peek through. Use a butter knife to swirl the chocolate and plain batter together. Pour the remaining plain batter on top of the chocolate layer and smooth it out. Once again, use the knife to pull through the layers to create a swirl.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cake and invert it onto the wire rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The cake will keep for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.