Tuesday, April 6, 2010

{TWD} Mocha Walnut Marble Bundt Cake


A marbled bundt cake might be the perfect "take-along" cake. No frosting is required, so transport is a breeze. But it's far from plain - it carries it own decoration -the marble pattern - tucked safely inside. The marbling dresses up the cake, making it look a lot more difficult than it really is. What's more, a full bundt recipe makes a cake big enough to feed a small army. And a bundt nearly always tastes great.

This week's Tuesday With Dorie recipe is the Mocha Walnut Marble Bundt Cake, and it was an ideal dessert to bring along to my book group meeting two weeks ago.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Erin of When in Doubt…Leave it at 350 (her blog name contains such good baking advice!) chose the cake for us to bake this week. Her blog post will have the recipe, or you can find it on pages 180 and 181 of the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

- Walnuts have become a favorite of mine. I wanted to amp up the walnut flavor, so I toasted the walnuts before grinding them as fine as my food processor would grind and I substituted 2T of walnut oil for 2T of the butter in the cake.

- Dorie specifies a bundt pan with a 12 cup capacity, but the batter would definitely fit in a 10-cup pan.

- The recipe is a bit fussy, requiring ground walnuts, chopped chocolate, brewed coffee AND espresso powder, in addition to the usual suspects: room temperature butter and eggs. It was a three bowl process, along with a mixer, food processor, miscellaneous measuring cups/spoons, knife, cutting board, etc.

- Dorie gives directions for a marble pattern that ends up resembling a ginko leaf. First you put all of the light batter in the pan, then the dark. Finally, you sparingly draw a knife through the batters. I was a little bit worried about my marbling, but it turned out to be pretty.

- I buttered my bundt pan, which is dark coated, then dusted it with Wondra flour, a tip I picked up from of the cake goddess Rose Levy Beranbaum. (although I'm pretty sure that Beranbaum coats her pans with melted shortening and then Wondra.) My cake released beautifully and looked tight and smooth. One thing that I always do when the cake is still warm in the pan is to loosen the cake along the pan's ridges using a cheap plastic picnic knife. Works like a charm!


the verdict:

The cake turned out "moist but not gooey" in the words of one of my tasters. It received positive reviews from all of the adults who tried it at book group (unfortunately several of us gave up sweets for Lent, so we couldn't partake). The best review? From the host couple's 8th grade son, who told me he enjoyed "4 or 5 pieces" and then assured me, "The cake is beast!"

A "beast" bundt? It really is a perfect cake.

Tune in next week, when it's my turn to host Tuesdays With Dorie - the recipe I chose is Swedish Visiting Cake!

30 comments:

Leslie said...

A beast bundt, huh? Sounds like the highest praise! Dorie would be proud. We enjoyed this one too. I had to give it away it was so good.

Helen Young said...

It was a beautiful cake! Can't wait to taste it at some point...without my cake hog son around. (He's the one who ate 4 or 5 pieces.)

Kayte said...

So pretty! I was going to try to get this done before Spring Break, but didn't happen, might have to do it after now that I see how nice and pretty yours turned out. Getting caught up on blog reading during down times on break, so expect an onslaught here as I didn't do much during Lent. Great looking cake!

Cristine said...

Your marbling looks perfect!

Pamela said...

A beast bundt! Gotta love that. Looks really pretty, Nancy.

Clivia said...

A beast bundt, with the decoration tucked inside. Lovely descriptions! Glad the cake was enjoyed.

vibi said...

WOW! There's a ballerina dancing in your bundt's marbling!

What a beautiful, beautiful bundt, Nancy!

Deeva said...

In your first photo the swirl looks like a gingerbread man jumproping...lol. Wonderful job on the cake.

I'm looking forward to next weeks TWD because this cake was on my "I want to bake" list.

cindy said...

Beast Bundt--I like it. Can't wait to make Swedish Visiting Cake--it looks delish!

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Love your swirl! :)

erin said...

Your bundt looks fantastic!

Jessica said...

A beast bundt? Wow! What a great description. I give that taster a gold star for descriptive purposes, and I want to borrow him/her. Your cake is lovely, and I'm jealous of your beautiful marbling. I took mine out of the freezer on Sunday and I've been enjoying it. It's a very tasty bundt!

Thanks for your comments on the tea cake. I had to laugh because the bottom of that tea cake bothers me to no end. All I could think of when I was taking pictures was how much I wanted to saw off the uneven bottom of the cake -- it makes me so twitchy. I'm worried that will make it go stale though? I'm not sure why it's such a big concern for me, but I can't get it out of my mind. Thanks for the cellophane and pretty ribbon suggestion. I think I might go that route as I love anything that calls for pretty ribbon!

Marthe said...

That's some perfect swirl in your bundt cake Nancy! So gorgeous!

Tia said...

adorable marbling on your cake. Looks delicious!!! I did an almond instead of walnut Bundt.

Cathy said...

Your cake is gorgeous, I mean, BEAST! A your marbling is just perfect (beastish? beastlike?). I really think this cake is a keeper. Crowd feeder, crowd pleaser. Even David, who doesn't eat chocolate, was able to eat around the chocolate parts.

Glad this was a big hit with your tasters!

Jeannette said...

I am way jealous of your marbling, it is beautiful and elegant!

Hahahahahaha a beast bundt. Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

Audrey said...

I'm happy not only to know how good this is, but also to know that one can use a 10-cup bundt pan. Why, oh, why, did all those people have to make all those annoyingly sized yet irresistible pans? And thank you for the tip on Wondra. I've learned somewhere to use it for dredging chicken breasts -- don't think I've ever used it for its intended purpose, whatever that might be! :) -- so now I have one less single-purpose thing in my kitchen.

I'm so glad your turn has come up! You picked a Dorie recipe that I've been wanting to try - simple, sophisticated and most likely wonderful. I'm going to bake along!

Flourchild said...

YOur cake looks grand! I made muffins!

Katrina said...

I love it, a beast bundt. And your marbling does look great! A feat I've yet to master, marbling and swirling. I made minis, but loved the walnut, too.

Kim said...

A very lovely cake. Glad it was such a hit.

Amanda said...

hahaha! my 7th grade son says beast all the time LOL Your marbling is beautiful Nancy!!

Jules Someone said...

See, now you tell me the tip about loosening the cake. Ah well. Yours is lovely!

Di said...

Ooh, I like the swirl in yours, Nancy! And I can't wait to try your recipe pick next week. =)

mike said...

Now that's a beautiful bundt cake Nancy - the marbelizing (again, is that a word?) is suberb! So glad everyone enjoyed it (that was able to partake) - and "beast" is "best"!

Bellini Valli said...

Chocolaye...walnuts...what's not to love.

Susan said...

I've never heard of anything good being called "beast"! Learned something new. Your cake looks perfect. :)

Erin said...

Your beast bundt looks great :)

Kayte said...

This looks so pretty...such fun to see each individual piece and what the marbling looks like for each one...I rely heavily on cheap thrills these days. I tried that plastic knife thing the first time I heard you talk about it, and the tip of the knife melted into a nice curve...LOL. I guess I was supposed to wait a bit. Your cake is gorgeous. I will make and double post next week as everyone just raves about this recipe and I don't want my family to be deprived, right?

steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks gorgeous! walnut oil--that was a good idea!!

Mary said...

Your cake looks fantastic, and I bet the walnut oil was a great addition. I didn't have time to make it with Easter and all, but I can't wait to make your pick!