It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there is always a birthday or celebration to be part of and what better way to celebrate than cake. This Mocha Cake is pretty straight forward to make and tastes amazing…… Rich, fudgy chocolate cake with a hint of coffee bitterness, smothered in sweet, creamy mocha butter-icing and decorated with simple piping and mocha beans.
Sounds good? you bet!
Recently I have lost my blogging mojo, partly fuelled by the tyranny that is social media follow up, but also just the challenge of trying to fit in baking, photography, editing and writing it all up alongside a full-time job.
I actually made this cake to celebrate Miss GF’s birthday back in the summer….. She seems to have become quite obsessed with coffee recently…. hot, cold, iced, in cake, icing, biscuits, ice cream….. anything goes. Unsurprisingly therefore, the cake didn’t last long, although we did share a few slices with friends….. there were no complaints!
With Christmas coming, this would be a great cake to add to the party table. It is grown up enough to excite the adults, but all the kids we tested it on, wolfed it down too (with no hyper-effects as far as we could tell….).
But why wait until Christmas? If you haven’t got any other celebrations coming up, treat yourselves anyway and enjoy a slice with a cup of tea and a good book for Sunday Elevenses. It will bring a decadent smile to your face and make you feel happy inside.
I am sharing this Mocha Celebration Cake with :
Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum
We Should Cocoa with Tin and Thyme
Baking Crumbs with Only Crumbs Remain
Mocha Celebration Cake (makes 1 x 8 inch/20 cm sandwich cake)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
400g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
75 ml milk/dairy free alternative
½ tablespoon lemon juice
3 large eggs – beaten
Mocha Butter Icing
200g good quality dark chocolate – chopped
240g unsalted butter – softened
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder (mixed to a smooth paste with 1 teaspoon boiling water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g icing sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk/dairy-free alternative
17 chocolate Mocha Beans
8 dark chocolate cigarillos
a dusting of finely grated chocolate
- Sponge : Base-line 2 x 8 inch (20 cm) round deep loose-bottomed non-stick cake tins with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Mix the coffee powder with the water in a small saucepan and add the chocolate and butter. Heat, stirring frequently, over a medium heat until just melted. Set aside.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl (or shake vigorously in a sealed airtight container), making sure the mixture is well blended and all lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- Heat the milk either in a microwave or in a small saucepan over a low heat until almost simmering and then take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir until the milk thickens and looks curdled.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until well blended and light.
- Add the milk mixture to the eggs and beat again.
- Pour the milk-egg mixture and the chocolate mix into the bowl of flour and stir with a large spoon or spatula until you have a well blended and smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture into the two tins and bake for 1¼ to 1½ hours until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes, before loosening the sides with a spatula and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Butter Icing : Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl and melt in the microwave on medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring well between each until smooth (or in a heatproof bowl set above a saucepan of lightly simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth).
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a little icing sugar and the vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar, the coffee, the melted chocolate and enough milk to ensure a thick, creamy, spreading consistency, beating between each addition. (if it seems a little too loose, keep beating until thick and/or add a little extra icing sugar).
- Putting the cake together : When the sponges are cold, place one on a decorating board and spread the buttercream in a thick, even layer across it, before placing the second sponge on top.
- Using a spatula, spread a further layer of buttercream across the top and sides (making sure you leave some icing to pipe decorations) and smooth to the look that you want.
- Arrange the cigarillos across the top in an even ‘spoke’ pattern and using a wide, star-tipped nozzle and piping bag, pipe flower decorations on the sides and top of the cake.
- Finally add the Mocha Beans and a light, fine grating of dark chocolate.
- Chill in the fridge for about 40 minutes (to firm up the icing), before transferring to a serving plate. The cake can be stored at ambient temperature.
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