Marble Bundt Cake

During my childhood, my mother used to have a limited set of cake recipes that she did over and over again. She was not at all in the mood to try new recipes, she always took the beaten road in the kitchen. But those cakes she was doing were always 100% success guaranteed. One of them was called "chec", a super simple recipe with eggs, flour, butter, sugar and a bit of cocoa to colour it. This cake had a specific taste and texture: super fluffy and soft and almost melting in your mouth. The crust, although a little crunchy was also melting in your mouth. The cocoa was added only for the interior aspect and not to influence too much the taste. At least this is how my mother was doing it.
I found this recipe in one of my books and I was tempted to try it. It was only when I tasted that my mind travelled in time and remembered me in an instant about my childhood "chec". I sliced it and gave a piece to my kids and one to my husband. After the first bite, my husband exclaimed: ÿou made "chec". Well, it was obvious then that the memory I had from childhood was not just mine, it was his also because it was a very popular cake in Romania back then. Probably still is because of its simplicity and tastiness.

Regarding the original recipe, I had to adjust seriously. First, I had to measure the ingredients in cups and then weighted them in grams. That is because, if I want to redo the recipe, I always prefer grams for accuracy. But the original book had the wrong quantities indicated in grams. (eg. 21/2cups of flour does not equal 625g of flour, but only 300g). The second was the sugar, 400g? no way... I reduced it to 150g and honestly, I didn't feel it needed more. Third, I do not find buttermilk here so easily. I can replace it with milk and lemon juice, but I only used milk. If there is no acid (like the lemon juice or the one from buttermilk) the baking soda is useless, so I just removed it and increased the baking powder quantity. The cocoa, from 125g indicated, I put only 9g, as I only wanted it for a bit of colouring. I made this cake before with 30g of cocoa powder and the layers were distinctively dark and with chocolate flavours. If this is what you are looking for, feel free to add more. For me, the 9g were just perfect for my purpose.
With all these changes, I think there is little resemblance to the original recipe but I will note it down just to indicate from where my inspiration came from.

I simply love this cake and is one of the few I would eat myself as it creates more than just a sweet pleasure, it brings back memories. This is the perfect cake also for the snack of my kids in school, so I am sure I will revisit it again and again.

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 4g salt
  • 150g sugar
  • 113g butter (melted)
  • 75ml vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
  • 5 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 250g whole milk
  • 9g cocoa powder

  1. Preheat the oven at 160ºC.
  2. In a mixer bowl add the butter, oil and sugar and mix with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs one by one and continue to mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the mixer bowl one spoon at a time alternating with milk while keeping the mixer on. For this step, keep the mixer on low speed.
  6. Add vanilla essence and mix for just a little bit more.
  7. Separate 1/4 of the batter in another bowl and mix this one with cocoa just until well combined.
  8. Prepare the bundt pan by buttering it and lightly flouring it.
  9. Pour the composition into the bundt pan by alternating the main batter with the cocoa one.
  10. Bake at 160ºC for 1 hour.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan until at least you can touch the pan with your hands without getting burned.
  12. Return the cake to a rack and let it cool completely.

Inspired (but heavily deviated) from Beautiful Bundts - Julie Anne Hession, page 112.


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