Marble Cake Recipe:
5 ounces (140 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (optional)
2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, room temperature
Marble Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, a 10 inch (25 cm) bundt or tube pan.
In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the coffee. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Remove a little more than half of the batter and place into a separate bowl. To the remaining batter stir, or beat, in the melted chocolate. Place the batters into the prepared bundt pan by alternating spoonfuls of vanilla batter with the chocolate batter. Then, with the end of a wooden skewer or knife, gently draw swirls through the batter to marbleize it. Don't over mix.
Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to cool completely. Can dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake is best the day it's made, but it will keep for a couple of days at room temperature or it can be frozen.
Serves about 10 people.
If you can't decide whether you want to make a chocolate cake or a vanilla cake, why not combine the two and make a Marble Cake. This cake is wonderfully rich and buttery with a moist and tender crumb. A Marble Cake may look complicated, but it's actually one batter that is divided and then melted chocolate is added to one portion. The marbling effect is created by placing the vanilla and chocolate cake batters alternately in a bundt pan, and then running a skewer or knife (do not stir) through the two batters to give it a marble effect. I usually serve this cake plain as I want everyone to see that it is a Marble Cake. But you can dust the top with powdered sugar or cocoa powder or cover with a Chocolate Ganache.
This cake is baked in a bundt pan, and make sure to butter, or spray with a non stick cooking spray, all the creases and folds of the fluted sides. Also, if you are using a dark colored bundt pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Dark colored pans absorb more of the energy coming from the oven walls so the pan becomes hotter and transmits heat faster than light colored pans. Reducing the oven temperature slightly will help compensate for this.
As I said above, we start by making a white butter cake batter. We also have to melt 5 ounces (140 grams) of either bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate with a little coffee. I find the coffee really brings out the flavors of the chocolate, but you can leave it out. Once the batter is made, remove a little over half of the batter and place in a clean bowl. To the remaining batter add the melted and cooled chocolate. Then place alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla and chocolate batters. Once done, take a skewer of knife and make swirls (figure 8s) through the two batters to create a marble effect. Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not over bake or the cake will be dry tasting. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.