Sunday was my friend Julie’s mom, Joan’s, birthday. She is a really special Mama, so we wanted to make her something she would truly enjoy. She loves deep dark rich chocolate and she loves coffee, so a combination of the two was in order. At about midnight on Saturday night, we decided to make a delicious, simple, and quick chocolate cake that usually uses 2 cups of water (but we added 2 cups of cold coffee instead). The cake is dense and fudgey, and tastes like a perfectly brewed chocolatey mocha with an espresso kick. We were too tired to finish the cake that night, but we woke up early Sunday morning to frost the cakes, in our pajamas (as you can see in the following pictures).
We decided to emphasize the cake’s coffee flavor by spreading a thick Coffee-Chocolate Ganache in between the two layers. The ganache was also very simple, and was made with melted semi-sweet dark chocolate mixed with heated soymilk that was dripped through coffee grounds. The ganache ended up soaking into the bottom layer of the cake and making a super fudge brownie-like cake consistency and still stayed gooey in the center between the cake layers.
Julie and I whipped up a light Vanilla Buttercream (similar to the frosting recipe here, although in this case you would omit the almond extract) to spread on the top and sides of the tall cake. We sifted cocoa powder thickly on top, and then piped some extra Ganache into a swirling pattern on top. We dusted the whole thing with a light sprinkling of edible gold powder.
Mocha Cake Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
7 Tblsp. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cold coffee
2/3 cup plain applesauce
1/2 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips, melted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the sides and bottoms of two 8-inch springform pans.
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl, stirring to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Sift your dry mix into the wet, and stir with a large wooden spoon until fairly smooth (it’s okay if there are a few lumps. You don’t want to over-mix or the gluten in the flour will develop and make your cake’s structure tougher than it should be).
Gently stir in the melted chocolate.
Divide the batter into the two pans evenly, and put in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then check to see how the cakes are doing. Stick a clean toothpick into the center of the cake, and pull out to see if it comes out clean. A few crumbs stuck to the toothpick are alright.