Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1/3 cup hot water
3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3½ cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Tip: Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch Angel Food cake pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
- In a medium stainless steel, ceramic, or glass mixing bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate, hot water, cocoa powder, and corn syrup. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water; stir and heat just until the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Remove 2 generous cups of the batter and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir the baking soda into the cooled chocolate mixture, and then using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula gently fold the chocolate mixture into the 2 cups of batter.
- Using 2 large spoons, alternate placing large spoonfuls of the chocolate and vanilla batters in the prepared pan, carefully spreading the batters so they touch each other and the sides of the pan. Make a second layer of batter, placing spoonfuls of vanilla batter on top of the chocolate, and the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla. Repeat, alternating the flavors, making about four layers. Firmly tap the pan two or three times on the counter to level the batter. Using a butter knife, zigzag the knife through the batter to swirl the batters, circling through the pan twice. Don’t overwork the batters; you are creating a marbled look, not stirring the flavors together.
- Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1½ hours or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.
Adapted from: Walter, Carole, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More, Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, 2007