I'd been wondering why a stripey cake has been following me around - not literally - for a while now. Perhaps it's got something to do with this miniature tiger I live with, whose striped hairs complete my outfits on a daily basis.
In any case, when I stumbled across Dorie Greenspan's marbled bundt cake, I knew time had come to put my trusty bundt pan to use. along with some left over walnuts and chocolate that was gathering dust - again, not literally - in my cupboard.
This dense, flavourful tea cake improves with time and with generous splatters of multicoloured glaze. A big thick slice would work equally well with a tall glass of milk or freshly brewed coffee. Making two batches of batter may seem like a hassle but the recipe comes together quickly if you plan ahead a bit. For example, I measured out the ingredients and readied the coffee/chocolate mixture in a bain marie while I was cooking dinner. After this, it all came together. Do make sure the cake is completely cooled before you spoon on the glaze (or glazes).
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 90g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup coffee, hot or cold
- 1 tsp finely ground instant coffee or instant espresso powder
- 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp Nocino or coffee liqueur
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180c. Butter and flour a 9-10 inch bundt pan, tapping out the excess flour.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the vanilla with the milk.
3. Place the chocolate, coffee, coffee powder and 50g of the butter in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Let dissolve, stirring gently, then add the Nocino or coffee liqueur.
4. While your chocolate-coffee mixture is cooling, beat together the sugar and remaining butter until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly combined. Begin adding the vanilla milk and the sifted dry ingredients into the batter in alternate batches, about one third of each at a time.
5. Divide the batter into two bowls and lightly stir through the chocolate mixture into one of the batches. Begin layering the dough into the bundt pan and, when all the batter has been distributed, give it a gentle swirl with a fork to create the stripey-ness.
6. Bake for a little over an hour, removing when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out almost clean. Let cool completely.
7. Make the glaze: sift 150 grams of icing sugar into a bowl and add a bit of lemon juice and water, very slowly, until the glaze is just watery enough to pour - no more! You can also make a coffee version by dissolving a teaspoon of instant coffee powder with a bit of water and adding to the same quantity of icing sugar.
8. Enjoy the stripey goodness.