Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
Let me start by saying what this is not. This is not your typical heavy pound cake. It's not a dry bundt cake. What it IS is a moist, light, delightful chocolate and vanilla swirled bundt cake topped with a glossy, gorgeous chocolate ganache. 

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
We have to pause for just a sec to admire the ganache.

The cake is actually made using only one base batter.

Once the batter is made, you'll add a few goodies to it to make a chocolate batter. I use two kinds of cocoa here - Dutch-process and black. The black cocoa is optional, but it really does make for a high-contrast cake. I made it with just the Dutch-process cocoa, and the chocolate color isn't as deep. You can find black cocoa on Amazon or from King Arthur Flour.

There's also a bit of espresso powder in the chocolate mix. If you've been reading the blog regularly, I'm going to sound like a broken record here. The espresso boosts the flavor of the chocolate. There's not enough to make it coffee-flavored. The flavor boost helps since it's competing with the vanilla batter. Don't believe me? Check out what the experts at King Arthur Flour have to say.

Once both halves of the batter are ready, you'll spoon them into large piping bags. Layer the batters in the prepared pan as evenly as possible. You'll notice that the batter doesn't come near the top of the pan. That's ok. I use a full-size bundt pan - a smaller one might have spill-over.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
Once baked, you'll end up with a beautifully swirled cake.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
Let cool and then make the ganache. This is a gorgeous ganache (yes, I already said that, but it's true) made with the usual cream and a bit of butter. Ah, so luscious.

Those two pieces are just for me.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
{serves 12-16)

for the cake:
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

for the chocolate batter:
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
1 tablespoon black cocoa
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

for the ganache:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

[Note: shake buttermilk well before using]

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Use shortening to grease, and a pastry brush to get every bit of the pan. Tap out excess flour.

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix just until combined.

Scoop 2 cups of batter into a separate bowl. Sift the cocoa powders into the bowl. Stir the milk and espresso powder together. Add to the bowl with the cocoa and stir until thoroughly combined with the batter.

Spoon the vanilla and chocolate batters into large piping bags. Snip the tips to about 1/2 inch opening. Alternating, pipe the batters into the pan, layer by layer.

Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan.

After 5 minutes, invert a wire cooling rack on the top of the cake. Use oven mitts to flip the pan onto the rack. Wait one minute, then remove the pan. The cake should come out cleanly. If not, run a knife along the edge and try again. Let cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled, make the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream and the butter in a saucepan over medium bowl heat until it just comes to a bare simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir gently until glossy and combined. Stir in the vanilla. Let the ganache set up until pourable.

Place the cooling rack with the cake on top on a rimmed cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the top. Shake the pan a bit to smooth if needed.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Bundt Cake with Glossy Ganache Frosting
Grab a fork! Or heck, grab a slice and eat it standing over the sink. I won't tell.

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