Buttery and chocolatey. But how do you release this moist cake baked in a bundt pan cleanly without any of it getting stuck in the intricate corners? Getting the marbled cake to taste good was the easy part. Getting the cake to release cleanly leaving me with a lovely cake with smooth sides was challenging. The solution is so easy, it’s laughable.

My first four cakes stuck stubbornly to the bundt pan. To prepare the bundt pan for baking, I had generously buttered the pan. Strike one. I then buttered and floured. Strike two. I moved on to generously oiling the pan. Strike three. Then, I oiled and floured. Another disaster. I was out of the game. Those intricate corners of a bundt pan makes for a pretty looking cake but they made my life quite miserable.I went to the store and bought myself a cake release spray. I was holding off buying one as I was thinking how different could it be from buttering and flouring the bundt pan yourself? I did not want to send you into the store to buy something that was unnecessary. Let me tell you, it was success at cake number 5! It is worth going into the store. I would not bake another bundt cake without my cake release spray!

The can of cake release spray contains a mix of oils, flour and soy lecithin. The latter helps the cake batter stick onto the oils/flours of the cake release spray rather than the bundt pan. That’s why it works like a dream. Just to be sure that I was sending you into the store for a worthy purpose, I baked cake number 6 using the most intricate bundt pan I have which had previously made cake numbers 1 and 2 stick furiously to the pan. This is how cake number 6 looks. Beautiful isn’t it?

Marble Bundt Cake That’s Distinctly Buttery And Chocolatey

Prep: 20 minutes 
Cook: 40 – 50 minuyrd
Inactive:
Level: Moderately easy. You must get a cake release spray when baking in a bundt pan.
Makes: 1 large cake (baked in 1.5 litre bundt pan).
Oven Temperature: 300F (150C)
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Keeps well for at least 2 days on the kitchen counter, tightly wrapped or in an airtight cake container to keep in all the moisture.

Ingredients

9.7oz (275g) unsalted butter
2.64oz (75g) cream cheese
10.58oz (300g) caster sugar
1 cup of eggs (4 – 5 eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence/extract
8.81oz (250g) self-raising flour*
2.64oz (75g) ground blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt**
1.58oz (45g) good quality chocolate***
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder*
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3 Tablespoons milk
To make self-raising flour: Place your bowl on the kitchen scales. Add 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and top up with enough all-purpose/plain flour to reach 8.81oz (250g).
** Add only if you are using unsalted butter and store bought self-raising flour.
*** I use Valrhona -Guanaja 70% cocoa minimum – pure cocoa butter or Scharffenberger 70% bittersweet chocolate bar.
* I use either Valrhona or Green & Black’s organic range. 

Method

1. Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Oven rack adjusted to lower middle position.

Prepare ingredients

Butter & cream cheese
1. Remove the unsalted butter and cream cheese from the refrigerator and leave it out to soften. Soften means when you push on the butter or cream cheese with your finger, there is a firm give. The feel would be somewhat similar to when you use your finger to push into a firm pillow/cushion. You do not want to use the butter if it is too soft or ‘melty’. If you do, you risk the batter turning runny on you and it will not cream up voluminous. If I were you, I would return it to the refrigerator and let it firm up a little.
Eggs
1. Eggs should be at room temperature so that the batter will not split which often happens if your butter or eggs are too cold. If the eggs are from the refrigerator, you could pour hot (not boiling) water into a bowl and let the cold eggs sit in the bowl for 10 minutes. Dry eggs completely before using.
Dry ingredients
1. Sift the flour, salt and ground almonds through a large-holed sift (or use a fine mesh strainer). At times there are some large chunks of almonds that needs to be remove and broken up smaller so I use a sift/strainer. Skip sifting the ground almonds if you find it a chore but do break up or remove visible chunks.
Melting chocolate
1. It is very convenient to melt it in a microwave on medium-high power for about 40 seconds. Do not melt it completely as you risk it burning. I melt it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way and let the residual heat melt the chocolate completely.
2. If you are doing it over the stove top, it is best to bring a little water to simmer in a pot. Place the chocolate in a heat proof container and sit it in the simmering pot of water for 1 minute (bowl should not touch water) and turn off the heat. The chocolate should melt in the residual heat.
3. If your oven is being preheated for baking, place the chocolate in a heat proof container and then into the oven. How long it takes to melt, depends on the heat of your oven. Watch it carefully and again remove when it is 1/2 to 3/4 melted.
Cocoa powder, instant coffee powder and milk
1. Heat the 3 Tablespoons of milk until it is just boiling. Remove from heat source, stir in cocoa and instant coffee powder until dissolved. Do not miss this step of adding boiling liquid to hot cocoa powder. The liquid heat helps to maximum the flavour of the cocoa powder.

Start putting the batter together
1. Attach the wire whisk to the standing mixer. Cream the butter and cream cheese until it light coloured and fluffy. Start on low speed and work up to medium-high speed. It usually takes about 5 minutes of creaming. In between, stop the machine and scape bottom and sides of the bowl and then continue creaming.

2. Bring down the speed to medium and with the machine still running, gradually add in the caster sugar.
3. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until the batter is even more voluminous and thick. About 5 minutes. In between, stop the machine and scape bottom and sides of the bowl.

4. Reduce speed to medium-low and add 1/4 cup of eggs. Let the machine run for a minute bringing up the speed to medium if necessary to help the eggs incorporate into the batter. Turn off the machine, scrape bottom and sides of the bowl.

5. Add the next 1/4 cup of eggs, and following the same procedure.
6. Continue the same process with the third portion of 1/4 cup eggs.
7. Do the same for the last portion of 1/4 cup eggs + add in the 2 teaspoons vanilla essence at the same time as the eggs. Do not be alarmed if the batter becomes more liquid.
8. After scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, you need to mix it one last time on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn off and remove the bowl.
9. Add 1/3 of the pre-sifted flour/almonds mix into the batter. With a spatula or wide faced long handled spoon fold gently into the batter. The batter will start to thicken up. As you fold, remember to scrape up the batter from the bottom of the bowl.
10. Continue the same process with the second 1/3 portion of flour/almonds mix.
11. Do the same for the last 1/3 portion of flour/almonds mix. Set aside.
12. In a separate medium size bowl, add the melted chocolate and then the cocoa, instant coffee and milk mix. Stir to incorporate. It might harden a little which is fine. Add a small dollop of batter into the chocolate mix to help loosen up the mix. Add about another 1 to 2 cups of batter into the chocolate mix. Fold in gently to fully incorporate. No streaks please.

Building the marbled look
If you are using a bundt pan, you MUST spray it generously with a cake release spray.

1. As I mentioned in my introductory ramblings, the only way to get your cake released without it being stuck to the bundt pan is to use a cake release spray. Do not make the same mistake as I did. No amount of butter, butter and flour or oil will do the job. My first 4 cakes stubbornly stuck to the bundt pan because I did not want to buy a cake release spray. Now that you have sprayed your bundt pan generously, start to dollop the butter and chocolate batter into the bundt pan. How? Think of a Checkerboard Cookie.

2. The checkerboard cookie above has 4 layers. The 1.5 litre bundt cake pan would typically have 3 layers. So take a look at my Checkerboard Cookie above and build up 3 similar layers with the butter and chocolate batter.
3. Before you level the batter, you need to swirl the batter. Get a pair of chopsticks. Space the chopsticks about 0.8″(2cm) apart in your hand. Stick the chopsticks into the batter without the chopsticks touching the bottom of the bundt pan. Move the chopsticks to make one complete circle. If you want more of a marble effect, go another round. I like my butter and chocolate to be distinctly apart so I can taste the separate flavours so I stick to one complete circle.
3. If you choose to use the sharp point/blade of a knife, the marbling will not be that distinct. You need a tool with a bit more width. The handle of a spoon/fork will do but use the wider surface of the handle to move the spoon forward in the batter.
4. Shake the pan to help level the batter. Level the entire surface further with the back of a spoon.
5. Drop the pan once or twice from a height of 1″ (2.5cm) to get rid of air pockets.
6. Bake in the preheated oven. Check the cake at 40 – 45 minutes and test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, remove from oven. The sides of the cake would also have slightly detached from the bundt pan. If the cake is not ready, let it bake further and retest after 5 minutes.  It has never taken me more than 50 minutes to have the cake bake through.

Removing cake from bundt pan
1. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
2. To remove the cake, drop the bundt pan on the floor from a 4″ (10cm) height a few times. Should any batter be stuck to the pan, this helps to dislodge the cake from it. If you see, the cake rebounding in the bundt pan once the pan touches the floor, that’s a good indication that all is good. Overturn the pan on the wire rack for the cake to cool completely before slicing. You should have a very smooth looking marbled cake.

Tips

Get yourself a cake release spray if you are baking in a bundt pan. Alternatively, bake in a round ~ (9″)(23cm) or square baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper and greased. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

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