Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt Cake
Clearly, there is nothing else to say, except THIS CAKE IS STUPID DELICIOUS.
The recipe for this behemoth of a baked good I like to call a Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt cake is from a charming little bake shop in Los Angeles called Buttercake Bakery. Remember when I told you about my recent sippy cup-free weekend down in LA and how Sara and I got into some serious cupcake sampling? Well, one of the bakeries we stumbled into was Buttercake, and as luck would have it, the owner Logan was there that day and naturally, Sara is friends with her. (If you ever go somewhere with Sara, you will find this is often the case.)
Anyway, this isn't the kind of place where you'll find crazy novelty flavors like Green Tea Yuzu buttercream or giant celebration cakes draped with wacky shades of fondant and loaded with dynamite. No, this place is all about turning out comfort desserts like those fantastic signature recipes of churchgoing Southern women and then doing them one better.
Take this completely insane cake, for example. If you are in search of an absolute celebration of butter and chocolate, well, then, my friend, I think we've arrived at your personal Mecca. The batter for this cake is like a lighter version of a pound cake, rich with butter and vanilla, craveworthy all by its lonesome. And that's before you fold in the chocolate chips. Oh, no, you heard me right. And. And!
Then you take out some of the chocolate chip-studded batter and whisk into it in an obscenely chocolatey syrup that gets all swirled into the mix and bakes up like fudgy brownie cake tunneling through the whole thing. If I was anymore serious I would be a heart attack, people. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
The resulting cake is the sort of baked good that comes up every once in a great while here in the Piece of Cake kitchen, which is to say that I had a major crisis of conscience upon tasting it. Half of me wanted to disappear into a dark corner of the garage with the cake stand and a fork so I could mow the whole thing in private. The other half knew I shouldn't hide this light under a bushel--a Bundt cake epiphany as glorious as this was meant to be shared with the world. In the end, I gave a nod to the latter, swiftly lopping off half the cake for my husband's office, leaving a mere half the cake for me to have my way with while doing the former. But you do what you want.
Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt Cake Adapted from Buttercake Bakery and the Los Angeles Times Use the butter wrappers to grease the pan before dusting it with flour. And as much as you'll want to devour this cake ASAP after baking, give it a couple hours to really cool and rest out of the pan before serving--the flavor and texture is well worth the wait. This cake stays extraordinarily moist for days on end kept in a cake dome at room temperature. Serves 12 to 16
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Valrhona) 1/4 cup light corn syrup 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided 2 2/3 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 large eggs, at room temperature 1 cup milk, at room temperature 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
In a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar, the cocoa powder and corn syrup with 1/2 cup hot water. Bring just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Set aside.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the remaining sugar until light in color and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat in the remaining vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and beat in a third of the flour mixture just until the flour begins to disappear into the batter. Beat in half the milk. Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and finish with the remaining flour until the batter is smooth. Stop the mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop out a third of the batter into a medium bowl, whisk in the chocolate syrup and set aside. Pour another third of the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it with a spatula. Pour the chocolate batter into the pan evenly over the first layer. Finish by pouring the last third of the vanilla batter over the top. Lightly swirl the batters with a wooden skewer or knife to give a "marble" effect--a continuous figure-8 motion while going around the pan works well.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake springs back lightly when touched, about 60-70 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the cooled cake onto a serving platter and dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving if desired. Store any leftovers in a cake dome at room temperature for 4-5 days, maybe more.