Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Mocha Swirl Bundt Cake - We Should Cocoa

As we all recover from the excesses of Christmas, Chele at Chocolate Teapot has set an apt challenge for this month's We Should Cocoa - to make a something healthy using chocolate in some form. The full rules for the We Should Cocoa challenge can be found on Chocolate Log Blog, the blog written by Chele's co-host Choclette.

Of course, 'healthy' has different meanings to everyone, often based on their own health issues. For us, or at least three of the four people that I cook for, reducing our intake of saturated fat is the main aim, as both Hubs and I take medication for high cholesterol, and my son, CT, is controlling raised cholesterol by diet. Since I started reducing the saturated fat in my baking, both Hubs and I have seen reduced cholesterol levels, and CT, who has made other dietary changes too, has brought his cholesterol down to acceptable levels.

So this challenge has been relatively easy for me; I am entering a variation of one of my favourite cakes made with oil instead of butter. Another way of making cakes made with chocolate even healthier is to use cocoa rather than chocolate, as cocoa is lower in fat than the same weight of chocolate, and in most cases less cocoa is required to give an acceptable chocolate flavour. This recipe uses 4 1/2 tablespoons, which is less than 50g.

I usually make this bundt cake as a chocolate, orange and chilli cake, but this time I have made a mocha version - flavouring the cake layers with coffee and cocoa. The original recipe is from Alice Medrich, but I have reduced it in size to fit my bundt tin, and converted the ingredients from cup volumes to weights.

As always, this cake had a lovely close, moist texture. The coffee and chocolate flavours were quite subtle, and I think the cake may have been even better made with a flavourless oil, rather than olive oil - on this occasion I thought the flavour of olive oil was too much for the flavours of the cake.


4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
4 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
4 tablespoons water

320g plain flour
2 scant tsp baking powder
pinch salt
320g caster sugar
200ml light olive oil
4 cold eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200ml cold semi-skimmed milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in the milk


Pre-heat the oven to 180C and prepare a 10-cup bundt tin (a tin which is at least 2.4 litres in capacity).
Put the first 4 ingredients into a small bowl and mix until they form a smooth paste; set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, oil and vanilla until well blended and smooth. Whisk in the eggs 1 at a time, then continue whisking until the mixture is thick and pale - about 3 minutes with an electric hand whisk.
Reduce the whisk to a slow speed, then mix in 1/3 portions of the flour mixture alternately with the milk, whisking only as much as necessary to make a smooth batter.
Weigh out 400g of the batter into a bowl and mix in the cocoa paste mix.
Using 1/3 of each batter at a time, layer them alternately into the bundt tin, starting with the light coloured coffee batter.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean; cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with a mix of cocoa and icing sugar before serving.


Alicia Foodycat said...

Mocha is such a good dessert flavouring! This cake looks gorgeous.

Unknown said...

ahhh... glad to see your version of healthy is as 'healthy' as mine... I have always adored marble cake... I will attempt this later this week so thanks for the inspiration xx

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

What a beautiful cake Suelle! And a great entry

Suelle said...

I've just seen your entry to the challenge, Dom. At least we didn't eat this all at once! LOL!

Caroline said...

It looks just as beautiful as ever, and sounds like a great flavour combo!

Snowy said...

A lovely combination of flavours, Suelle. The cake looks delicious. Am still thinking of a 'healthy' option!

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

Love your swirls, I need to work on my swirl technique. Think that this is the afternoon's baking sorted!

Suelle said...

Thanks Helen, but this time the swirls are formed naturally as the cake bakes. I just layer the batters into the bundt tin. The chocolate batter is significantly thicker than the plain one, and I think this is what makes it swirl the way it does.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Lovely looking cake and I'm very impressed by your success in reducing the saturated fats in your baking. I must try to follow your example.

Chele said...

Perfect swirling!! I am more than a little envious, and this is a fantastic entry to this months challenge. Thanks so much for taking part ;0)

Lisa said...

Your swirling skills are awesome! I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cake up.

celia said...

Suelle, I've just made the tiger cake version of this from Medrich's Bittersweet book and I thought to myself at the time, "I wonder if Suelle has found this recipe yet, as there isn't any butter in it.."

It's a fabulous recipe, and your cake looks amazing! :)

Suelle said...

Hi Celia - I've just looked up the Tiger Cake recipe and it is almost identical to the one I've been using. The batter is just divided slightly differently and the flavourings are different. It's one of the best textured cakes that I've made with oil.

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

Beautiful swirling! And a delicious flavour combo for a healthy cake!

Choclette said...

Ahh Suelle, Queen of Marbling, there you go again. Your cake is fantastic. Not being a fan of coffee I think I might stick to your chilli version, but oh my it looks wonderful. Thank you so much for your fabulous WSC entries.