Monday, December 19, 2011

holiday baking: peppermint mocha cake!


Hello lovlies! Today  I'd like to give a shout out to one of my best friends, Chris! It's his birthday, you see. And because of this, I thought it'd be fun to play around with one of my faaaavorite hobbies: BAKING! Chris is a big coffee fanatic (as am I!) so I thought something espresso-related-and-still-Christmas-festive would be fitting. And after playing in the kitchen for the better part of two hours (and neglecting the camera during the process because I kept forgetting... sorry!!) I emerged victoriously with this beauty! Luckily I took detailed notes of the recipe i used, (thanks Martha!) as well as my modifications to make it all mocha-y! So, let's do this thing!

FOR THE MOCHA CAKE
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups super strong, black coffee (and a few extra tablespoons for the first step)
 Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, then grease two 9-inch cake rounds with non-stick cooking spray and dust (lightly!) with some flour. Put your chocolate and 3 tablespoons of coffee in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and stir until smooth and melty (and liquid-y and lava-y and scary!). Then set aside to cool slightly, preferably without touching the chocolate mixture and hurting yourself (hello, unsightly band-aid!)
 
Beat your egg yolks and sugar together for about three minutes. Then add your coffee! And gradually add your chocolate mixture and the butter, mixing them together until smooth. Transfer this to a big bowl, then sift flour, cocoa, and salt over top of mixture. Fold in and then let your batter rest! 
 
Beat the egg whites until almost-stiff peaks form, and fold them into the chocolate mixture in two parts (don't overmix!) Carefully pour your batter into your readied pans and bake until puffed, cracked, and set, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then let your cakes cool (in a windowsill is always quaint, and the breeze blows the smell throughout your house!) before you pop them out!

FOR THE COFFEE ICING
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of room temp butter
  • 3 tablespoons of strong, black coffee
Pretty simple, just mix it all together! I like to use my food processor/blender, and cut up the butter into little cubes beforehand (it mixes more evenly!) It's going to be a little more runny than your standard buttercream frosting, which is why it's more of an icing! Prepare this while your cakes are baking, then while they're cooling let your icing "chill" in the fridge! (Har. Har.) I also threw in a teaspoon of so of SUPER fine coffee grounds, the smell is amazing but this step is totally optional!

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND MAKING IT A CAKE (INSTEAD OF CAKE COMPONENTS)
  • A candy cane (it's Christmas, you should have one laying around! I stole mine off my tree. Now I have to fix the bald spot...)
  • A hammer.
  • Some aggression to let out. That's optional, though. 
Pick one cake to be the bottom part. Shave off the top with a ridged knife to make a flat surface, then use a little less than half of your icing to smooth on the top. Plop on the second cake, and use the rest of your icing to spread over the rest of your creation! It'll be a little on the runny side, I just more-or-less poured it on top then used a spatula to wiggle it around the top and the sides (once you let the cake sit in the fridge for a while, it'll set perfectly.) Smash up your candy cane between some wax paper and sprinkle on top! 
 

Sorry for the weird lighting on the photos, this whole "Sun Sets by 5 PM" thing is frustrating! And dark.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great looking cake. When will you post the pictures of you what you are wearing to bake in??? Pearls, an apron, heels ????? I bet it is a 50s look ???

Katie and Reuben said...

Mmmmm... This sounds so yummy!

Katie x

maya said...

Um, I actually baked this in sweatpants. It was a pretty unglamorous time.
And thank you so much! It was pretty good.