Chocolate Butter Cake with Mocha Espresso Buttercream

Adapted via The Cake Bible
Serves: 10 to 12

For the Cake:
♦  1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, measured lightly (2.25 oz)
♦ 1 liquid cup boiling water (8.25 oz)
♦ 3 large eggs (5.25 oz – weighed without shells)
♦ 2 1/4 tsp vanilla
♦  2 1/4 cups +2 tbsp sifted cake flour (8.25 oz)
♦ 1 1/2 cups sugar (10.5 oz)
♦ 1 tbsp baking powder
♦ 3/4 tsp salt
♦ 1 cup unsalted butter (8 oz)

For the Buttercream:
♦ 6 large egg yolks (6.5 oz)
♦ 1 cup sugar (7 oz)
♦ 1/2 cup water (4 oz)
♦ 2 cups unsalted butter, softened (1 lb)
♦ 1 tbsp instant espresso powder + 1 tsp water
♦ 3 tbsp Kahlúa

For the Cake Layers: (All ingredients should be at room temperature, except boiling water): grease two 8″ or 9″ cake pans, line bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper; flour the pans.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature; in another bowl, lightly combine eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low-speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low-speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high-speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides.

Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

Scrape the batter into prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans should be about 1/2 full. Bake 25 -35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.

Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and then cool them completely before wrapping them airtight. Finished cakes will be about 1 1/2″ tall (can be stored airtight for 2 days at room temperature, 5 days refrigerated, 2 months frozen. Texture is most perfectly moist the same day as baking)

For the buttercream: (Have ready a greased 1 cup heatproof glass measure near the range): In a bowl beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. Stop stirring and boil to the soft-ball stage. Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Don’t allow syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of a bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Continue beating until completely cool.

Gradually beat in the butter, the espresso mixture and the Kahlúa. Place in an airtight bowl. Bring to room temperature before using. Rebeat to restore texture.

Read more about this cake and my musical pairing by clicking HERE

2 thoughts on “Chocolate Butter Cake with Mocha Espresso Buttercream

  1. Lovely recipe and I look forward to making it, but this font is hellish to read… luckily I was able to copy and paste it into another document so that the weird distortion was gone. Particularly in the first paragraph, “in another bowl, lightly combine eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and vanilla.” the 1/4 looks like something completely different.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s