Onto this gorgeous cake! Barb was one of the first people I met when I took the chance to join Twitter. I had no idea she had such an amazing food blog because I was so busy chatting with her about other things. One day I took a glance at her blog and I couldn’t believe the cakes she makes! Her desserts are mouth watering delicious. Well, all her cooking is delicious! Barb is a dear friend that is so talented and so kind. I sometimes tease Barb and call her “mom” because she is just so caring. She shows such sincere empathy for everybody.
The chocolate espresso cake is moist and rich but I have to warn you. That icing? To. Die. For. I am not kidding. I am not at all embarrassed to admit I have literally with a spoon (well, maybe a little embarrassed but still…would do it again and so would you!). It’s a rich, luscious combination and perfect for a special occasion.
Espresso Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water (Available at my local Whole Foods; we used Medaglia D’oro)
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/3 cup white chocolate, grated
1 cup sugar
2 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese
Chocolate bar for shaving
Raspberries – small container
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake, invert again so top side is up.
Cool completely. Can be made ahead. Wrap each cake in plastic and store at room temperature for completing the next day or freeze if using within a week.
Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over espresso, whisking until espresso is dissolved. Add grated white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the whipping cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. Can be made one day ahead; cover and keep chilled.
Add mascarpone to chilled mixture; Using electric mixer; beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).
Brush crumbs from cakes. Place one cake layer, top side up, on platter. Spoon 1 3/4 cups frosting on top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread frosting to edges. Top with second layer, top side up. Spread thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill 10 minutes. Spread another layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Pipe frosting with star tip around base and outer edge of cake.
Mound fresh fruit in center of cake.
Protect any part of cake plate that you do not want chocolate shavings on (I use masking tape). Sprinkle chocolate around outer edge; letting some adhere to sides and fall to plate; sprinkle over cake top and fruit.
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