High-Altitude Baking: Mocha-marbled bundt cake recipe
February 2, 2017
Mocha-Marbled Bundt Cake
Adjusted for altitudes of 7,900 feet and above
Make in a non-stick 9 or 6 cup Bundt pan
Like your favorite neighbor, this moist, mildly-sweet vanilla cake, with a hit of mocha, is welcome at any time.
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3 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar, preferably Baker's
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
2 ¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour (spoon and level)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (one stick), room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream (light or regular), room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-3 tablespoons whipping cream, room temperature or warm
½-1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons filling mixture
1. With a rack in the center, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the pan with a vegetable oil-flour spray (even if it's nonstick; cakes stick to the pan at high altitudes). Make the filling by whisking the three ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and set it aside.
2. Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend well, set aside. Cut the butter into 16 pieces, add them and the sugar to a larger mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer until light and close to fluffy. Scrape the bowl as needed throughout this step. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed after each addition until well mixed. At low speed, mix in the flour and sour cream alternately, (three additions of flour, two of sour cream) stopping as soon as each is absorbed into the batter. Stir the vanilla into the thick batter.
3. Remove two teaspoons of the filling to a small bowl (it will flavor the glaze). Spread one-third of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, level it, and sprinkle half of the remaining filling over it. Repeat with another third of the batter and the other half of the filling. Spread on the last third of the batter, filling the pan no more than two inches from the top, even if you don't use all the batter. To marbleize it, use a thin knife and make loopy u-shapes through the batter, from the center to the outside of the pan and back to the center. Tap the pan on a counter several times to release any air bubbles and settle the batter.
4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the batter comes out clean, about 30-38 minutes depending on the size of your pan. Remove the pan to a cooling rack. After 20 minutes, invert onto a cardboard cake circle or a plate, carefully remove the pan, and let cool completely.
5. Make the glaze: In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in a microwave, remove and whisk in one tablespoon of the cream. Add about ¼-cup of confectioner's sugar and one teaspoon of the reserved filling, whisking until well blended. Continue to add sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is thick enough to drizzle. If too thick, thin with small additions of cream. Taste and, if desired, add more filling mixture. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, let it set, and serve or store, airtight, at cool room temperature for up to three days. Serve slices warm for best taste and texture (Warm slices in a microwave after cutting; don't let them get hot or the glaze will melt).
Vera Dawson is a high altitude baking teacher and author of two high-altitude cookbooks Baking Above It All and Cookies in the Clouds, (available at The Bookworm in Edwards and Next Page Bookstore in Frisco). Her recipes have been tested in her Summit County kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.