Friday, June 2, 2017

Chocolate and almond marble bundt cake

I love bundt cakes, not sure why. I guess it’s because they remind me of my childhood and my mom’s Sunday cakes. When I’d get into a fight with my brother over who was going to lick the bowl clean. When the smell of the cake baking in the oven and the sweet anticipation of the treat seamed torturous to my young, impatient, greedy self.




It’s no different now, instead that I am the one making the cake, even though I have to say, every time I go back home to Greece, my mon always bakes a vanilla-chocolate bundt cake for me. Good habits never die.




This one is based on the classic vanilla and chocolate marble bundt cake but with the addition of a few extra ingredients and flavors that make it so much better and delicious. It is actually a chocolate and almond marble cake.




There’s ground almonds in there and some almond extract, whereas for the chocolate portion of the cake, there’s cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. Perfect for the chocoholic who likes to mix things up a bit.




It has a soft, fluffy and somewhat moist texture, an intense almond aroma from the extract that reminds me a bit of marzipan which I absolutely love, and a subtle crunch from the ground almonds. The chocolate flavor is pronounced and oh-so-addictive and it can satisfy even the most demanding of marble bundt cake lovers.




This is the kind of cake that can stand well on its own. I prefer it as is myself, or with a simple dusting of icing sugar, but feel free to glaze away if you’re so inclined. I’d suggest a dark chocolate glaze if you’re a hard-core chocoholic, or an almond-mascarpone frosting to accentuate the almond flavor.
Enjoy!









Chocolate and almond marble bundt cake
Slightly adapted from Ruby Tandoh

I used a 55% dark chocolate and I would advise you to do the same (not more than 60% cocoa solids) because the cake is not overly sweet so by using a higher percentage dark chocolate, you may end up with a more bitter cake than you’d hope.

I have to say, I screwed up the marbling this time because I was in a hurry to put the cake in the oven, forgetting for a moment (oh the horror!) that I am a food blogger and that I was planning to photograph it. Please take your time with yours for a better visual result, although the taste is and will always be scrumptious no matter how bad or good the marbling is.




Yield: 1 cake / 12-14 pieces

Ingredients
180 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
75 g ground almonds (I used half blanched and half whole almonds and ground them myself)
2 tsp baking powder
30 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 Tbsp (45 ml) hot water
180 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pan
225 g caster sugar
¾ tsp pure almond extract
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole fresh milk
100 g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped into small chunks

Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Special equipment: bundt pan (at least 1½ liter capacity), pastry brush (optional), stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer


Preparation
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Using a pastry brush or your hands, grease the inside of your baking pan very well with some softened butter, being careful not to leave small pieces of butter in the pan walls. Sprinkle some flour inside the greased pan and tap it to go all over the inside of the pan. Tap out the excess flour.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds with a spatula.
In a small bowl, add the cocoa powder and hot water, and whisk to make a smooth paste.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl), add the butter and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held mixer) on medium-high speed until creamy, light and fluffy, for 5-6 minutes. Add the almond extract and beat well. Add one egg and beat well on high speed to incorporate fully. Then add a spoonful of the flour-ground almond mixture and beat to combine. Continue in the same manner until you have added all 3 eggs. Then add all of the remaining flour-ground almond mixture and beat on low speed until it is just combined. Add the milk and beat on low until just combined. Don’t beat more otherwise the cake will be tough instead of fluffy because the gluten in the flour will be activated.

Empty half of the cake batter into a medium-sized bowl and add the chopped chocolate. Mix well with a spatula to evenly distribute the chocolate through the cake batter. To the remaining cake batter in the bowl of your mixer add the cocoa powder paste and beat on low for a few seconds until just combined and there are no visible white patches of batter.


Take your prepared bundt pan and using a large spoon or spatula, fill it by alternating spoonfuls of the two cake mixtures. Then, using a skewer or knife, make swirls but don’t overdo it like I did, otherwise you won’t have a marble effect.

Place the pan on the lower rack of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Then transfer to the middle rack and bake for a further 20 minutes or until or a wooden skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. Please be aware that not all ovens bake the same and not all bundt pans are the same, some have thinner or thicker wall, made from different material which make baking times differ. This cake takes anywhere between 40 and 50 minutes to cook. Mine takes 45 minutes but start checking yours from 35 minutes onward to make sure.


Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then take the cake out of the pan and onto the wire rack and let cool completely. When it has cooled, you can dust with icing sugar or glaze it with a glaze/frosting of your liking.

It keeps well for 4-5 days, at room temperature. Because it contains ground almonds that become moist as days go by (due to the oils in the almonds), they keep the cake from drying out and stays fresh for longer.




1 comment:

  1. I don't blame you for rushing the swirling process! You were just so anxious to get it in the oven so you could have a piece! I completely understand. :) Looks just fantastic, Magda.

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