Mocha Vanilla Bundt Cake

I was first attracted to this recipe because it allows me to use my bundt pan, which I had bought out of whim in phoon huat. But the cake was potentially too much for the family to finish, so I decided to hold it off till there was some special occasion to share it with a big group. The opportunity came when the friends wanted to bake something at my place. This cake is quite fuss-free, the sheer volume produces a bit of a mess but the recipe is so simple that you are almost guaranteed good results!

To get this smooth shiny brown top, don’t forget to butter the pan

Adapted from Fundamentally Flawed (makes a 8-cup bundt cake+a little extra)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely ground almonds

1 tsp. baking powder (Used Double-action Baking powder)

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Used Hershey’s semi-sweet Baking Chocolate)

1/4 cup coffee, hot or cold (make it really strong!)

1 tsp. finely ground instant coffee or instant espresso powder (I used organic free-trade coffee from Peru)

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk, room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 Degrees C).
2. Butter a 8 cup bundt pan (just use the remaining butter wrapper, don’t waste anything!). Don’t put it on a baking sheet – you want the heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.
3. Whisk together the flour, ground almond, baking powder and salt.
4. Put 2 tbps. of the butter into the bowl, along with the coffee, chocolate and instant coffee powder into a microwave-safe bowl . Microwave for 20 seconds, stir it, then repeat the process one more time. You should get a smooth, silky texture and a beautiful shiny surface. Don’t over-do this stage or the chocolate will seperate.
5. Beat together the remaining butter and the sugar at medium speed for about 3 minutes – you’ll have a thick paste; this won’t be light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. The mixture should look smooth and satiny. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately, adding the dry in 3 portions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry).
6. Scrape a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the chocolate mixture and, using a spatula, blend thoroughly.
7. Either layer the two batters (as many times as you want) or alternate spoonfuls of light and dark batter in the pan. When all the batter is in the pan, swirl a knife sparingly through the batters to marble them.
8. Bake for 60-75 minutes (note: we took less than that, about 50 mins. In fact during the last 10 mins I reduced the heat to 150 degreesC because our cake had a huge crack , looked exactly like a volcano erupting :X) or until a thin knife inserted deep into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the Bundt pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake completely on the rack.

Our mini one was slightly overcooked and because we didn’t butter the pan it didn’t brown nicely. But nevertheless, it got us very excited because it was ready first. Also we thought our huge one was going to fail as there was a terrible crack. We were so thankful, happy and proud when we tipped our cake out from the huge bundt pan.

It was perfect!

The result was a soft pound cake equivalent, with a very fine and moist crumb. Don’t overbake it because the chocolate bit tends to dry up faster.

Oh my, it was so delicious. I must say it’s a little sweet though, you can try to reduce the sugar used, i’ll probably do that the next round. That said, there’s nothing a cup of good tea can’t salvage!

If you think this is going to end up like one of those run-of-the-mill marble cakes from neighbourhood bakeries, you are so wrong. Try this recipe and you’ll understand what I mean. Enjoy!

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