Mocha Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake
I had the opportunity to make this smashing cake about a week ago and to be honest, I can’t quite remember why I chose to make this cake outside of the fact that I had seen the recipe for it and decided that it sounded positively delightful. The brainchild of the baking genius that is Dorie Greenspan, this marked my first foray into baking a marbled cake.
This is basically a vanilla cake delicately speckled throughout with ground walnuts, that has been marbled beautifully with mocha. I had always thought that marbling was something overly complicated and which required much skill. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s was more like a 3 step program! 1. Pour in the white batter. 2. Pour in the chocolate batter. 3. Gently swirl batters together here and there with a butter knife. The main key is to marble the 2 batters minimally so that there remains a distinct contrast between the 2 colors and flavors for a very dramatic effect.
I whipped this cake up recently to bring into work, but the smells that began emanating from my kitchen proved to be too alluring to allow the whole cake to arrive intact into work. The cake can be baked and served unadorned, but we chose to top it with a bit of dark chocolate ganache to further accentuate the mocha richness of the cake.
The cake itself was very moist with the vanilla and mocha flavors paired up beautifully with the walnuts in the cake. It proved to be the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee as I started my day!
Mocha Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake
Adapted from Baking – From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts (I toasted mine first before grinding)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coffee, hot or cold
1 teaspoon finely ground instant coffee or espresso powder
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ – 10″ (12 cup) bundt pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Remember, you do not need to place the pan on a baking sheet, place it directly onto the rack. You want the oven’s heat to circulate evenly throughout the pan and through the bundt’s inner tube.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Either in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water level does not touch or reach the bottom of your bowl) over low heat, place 2 tablespoons butter into bowl, along with chocolate, coffee, and instant coffee or espresso powder. Heat the mixture, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are melted and everything is smooth and creamy. Be sure to keep the heat low…too high heat may cause the butter and chocolate to separate. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, beat the remaining 2 sticks of butter and the sugar at medium speed until a thick paste forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Mixture will look smooth and satiny. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce to low speed and add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately, adding the dry ingredient mixture in 3 portions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix until just incorporated.
Scrape a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate and, using a rubber spatula, stir to blend thoroughly.
For a more dramatic marbling, scrape all of the white batter into the pan and top with the chocolate. For a more traditional marbling effect, alternate spoonfuls of light and dark batter in the pan. When all the batter is in the pan, swirl a butter knife sparingly through the batters to marble them.
Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted deep into the center 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.