What differentiates this from the middle-of-the-road marble cakes I've known before? Alas, its virtues derive entirely from vice—specifically, great quantities of butter, sugar, chocolate and that culinary Unholy of Unholies, corn syrup.
Yes, don't be fooled by the buttoned-up appearance of this marble cakes; its crisp exterior belies the chocolate tempest within.
Buttercake Bakery's Marble Cake
Adapted from the LA Times
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for dusting
In a small saucepan, whisk together one-half cup of the sugar, the cocoa powder and corn syrup with one-half cup hot water. Bring just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add a half-teaspoon of vanilla off the heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter with the remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then whisk in the remaining vanilla.
Whisk about a third of the flour mixture into the batter, then a third of the milk. Continue whisking in the flour mixture and milk, alternately and a little at a time, until everything is added and the batter is light and smooth.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips, then divide the batter into thirds. Pour a third of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
Whisk the chocolate syrup with another third of batter, then pour this into the prepared bundt pan. Pour the remaining third of batter over this, lightly swirl the batters with a wooden skewer or knife to give a "marble" effect and place the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake springs back lightly when touched, about 1 hour. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the cooled cake onto a serving platter and dust lightly with powdered sugar.