Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Cake

 I made this cake for my Boss's husband's birthday. I thought I would post it now since it's almost Valentine's day and it's a rich Chocolate cake. It was yummo! I got the recipe here and followed it close except I didn't have espresso powder, I used Starbucks medium roast instant coffee instead (I use in baking, I couldn't find the espresso powder) I also toasted some almond slices, and garnished the sides and top with those and chocolate shavings. I dare you to make this for someone special this Valentines day. YUM!

Chocolate Espresso Cake
serves 16

For the Cake
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk (whole or 2%), at room temperature
6 Tablespoons of grapeseed  oil (or canola oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup very hot water

For the Buttercream
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup (8-ounces) butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, diced and at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line  a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt at medium speed until blended.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and pour in the hot water; mix until blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and blend again.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out of the center clean, about 20-25 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream
In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment, beat yolks at medium speed until they become light and lemony in color and ribbons form when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water.  Cook over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until the sugar completely dissolves and the syrup comes just to a boil.  Increase the heat to high and boil syrup until it registers 238 F on a candy thermometer. With the mixer on medium speed, carefully add the hot syrup to the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream.  Beat the mixture until it cools to room temperature and is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.  Gradually add the butter a tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated.  In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in the water; beat into the buttercream.

Invert cake onto a large wire rack and peel off the parchment paper.  Invert cake again onto a large cutting board.  With a serrated knife, cut the cake equally into thirds.  Set a large wire rack over a baking sheet (this will collect the poured ganache).  Arrange one cake layer on rack; spread half the buttercream evenly over top.  Add another cake layer and spread remaining buttercream on top.  Place the remaining cake layer over buttercream.  Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set and chill slightly.

                       (this is what your 3 layer's of cake should look like)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.  In a small saucepan, heat cream and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.  Pour the hot cream mixture of the chocolate and butter; stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.  Cool, stirring occasionally, until it is thickened and cooled, but not pasty, about 20 minutes.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and pour the ganache over the top of the cake, spreading with an off-set spatula so it coats the sides.  If ganache does not cover the sides completely, pour any excess that has collected on the baking sheet back into the bowl and spread again.  Refrigerate the cake until the ganache sets, at least 1 hour.  Using two large spatulas, carefully transfer the cake onto a serving platter.  Leftover cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered for up to five days.  Set the cake out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Garnish with toasted almond slices and chocolate slivers.... Enjoy!

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