Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Black and White Mocha Cake
The cake definitely took a while, but the steps were easy. I had to make two chocolate cakes, and then two vanilla cakes. They were pretty standard cakes and came together quickly. While they cooled, I made the ganache, which also has espresso powder and coffee liqueur in it. I recommend making this early and keeping it in the refrigerator; mine stayed really thin and so it didn't look as thick and glossy as I wanted. Of course, we kept the leftover ganache in the fridge and it thickened up beautifully. The recipe doesn't say to chill it but it definitely made the consistency more perfect than just leaving it aside.
The last thing I had to make was the chocolate frosting itself, which had both cocoa powder and melted milk chocolate in it. Mom helped me put the whole giant thing together - stacking four cakes is no easy feat! - and recommended the addition of a cherry on top for decorative purposes!
This is a huge cake, and it is impossible to cut small pieces, so it is not for the faint of heart! One piece automatically equals four pieces of cake because of all the layers (as you can see in the picture to the right!). It is filling, but, from what I heard from everyone who ate it, it was also very good. Rich, chocolatey, coffee-y, vanilla-y (yes those are all words)... it was quite a hit. Ultimately most of the leftovers were eaten by Delilah, whose new trick is getting all four feet up on the kitchen table and wandering around up there, but the people definitely enjoyed it too!
black-and-white mocha cake
from the Jan./Feb. 21013 issue of Food Network Magazine
For chocolate cake:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
2) Whisk the cocoa powder and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth; set aside. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the cocoa mixture in a steady stream until just combined, then finish mixing with a rubber spatula. (The batter will be thin.)
3) Divide the batter between the prepared pans and tap the pans against the counter to help the batter settle. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.
For vanilla cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
2) Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and salt in a bowl until combined. Beat 2 sticks butter and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. (The mixture may look separated at this point.)
3) Mix 1/2 cup water with the cream in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth.
4) Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are lightly golden on top and the centers spring back when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.
For the frosting and ganache:
For the ganache:2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (optional)
For the filling:8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Make the ganache: Heat the heavy cream, semisweet chocolate and espresso powder in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and coffee liqueur. Remove the bowl from the pan; set aside until cool and thick but still pourable, about 1 hour.
2) Meanwhile, make the filling: Put the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Let cool.
3) Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the melted milk chocolate and beat until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla, increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
4) Assemble the cake: Put 1 chocolate cake layer on a platter; spread 3/4 cup filling on top. Top with a vanilla cake layer and spread with another 3/4 cup filling. Repeat to make 4 layers, ending with a vanilla cake layer. Spread the remaining filling on top and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Pour the ganache over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let set at room temperature before slicing, about 30 minutes.