BLACK AND WHITE MARBLE BUNDT CAKE (one 10 inch bundt cake)
For the cake:
½ cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s
2-1/2 cups sugar, divided
½ cup water
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
For the glaze:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325* and place the rack in center position. Spray a 10 inch (12 cup) bundt pan with cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam with Flour.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, ½ cup sugar and the water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, whisking until smooth. Off the heat, immediately add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Set aside. (Note that the mixture will start to look curdled as it sits; that’s okay.)
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 2 cups of sugar. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Add the softened butter and half of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until moistened but still a little crumbly, about 1 minute. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the remaining buttermilk mixture until incorporated, then increase the s peed to medium and mix for three minutes, stopping once to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should look pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again, making sure the batter is evenly mixed.
4. Transfer about 2-1/2 cups of the batter to a medium bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
5. Spoon half of the remaining vanilla batter into the prepared bundt pan. Pour the chocolate batter over the top. Finish by spooning the remaining vanilla batter over the chocolate batter (don’t worry about covering the chocolate batter completely). Using a butter knife, swirl the batters together with a zig zag motion, going three times around the pan. It may not look like the batters are swirled; that’s okay. It’s important not to overswirl.
6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. While the cake bakes, make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, water and vanilla. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolves, about 1 minute.
8. Set the pan on a cooling rack. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke about 40 holes in the bottom of the still hot cake, going about ¾ of the way down. Spoon or brush half of the glaze evenly over the bottom of the cake. If the glaze starts to pool on the surface, poke more holes to help it absorb. Leave the cake on the rack to cool for 30 minutes.
9. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Brush the remaining glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake, letting it soak in as you go. (Go slowly so that the glaze gets absorbed). Let the cake sit for at least 2 hours before serving. Cut with a serrated knife.
NOTE: The cake keeps well for several days. Once cool, store in a cake dome or cover with plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to serve. The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in a heavy duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.