Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Espresso Cake
For all special occasions nothing can beat a chocolate cake. This version produces a moist cake with a strong chocolate taste. A favorite dessert among family and friends, it is the perfect cake for all special occasions. This cake recipe can be served with frosting or with a scoop of gelato and caramel sauce for a great summer dessert. Serves eight to 10. (Chef tip: To enhance chocolate flavor, add coffee or cinnamon.)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into one-inch pieces, extra for pan
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, extra teaspoon for dusting pan
1/2 cups brewed strong espresso coffee
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of a 10-inch by 3-inch deep pan. Dust with cocoa powder. Reserve.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm espresso coffee, 12 tablespoons butter and semisweet chocolate, whisking occasionally, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and cool completely.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated and brown sugars, buttermilk and vanilla paste. Slowly whisk egg mixture into cool chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Transfer to oven and bake until firm in the center when lightly pressed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack until room temperature, about one hour. Dust with powdered sugar before serving or ice with chocolate frosting.
Creamy Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
(makes 4 1/2 cups)
12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Sift or sieve the cocoa, 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, salt and espresso powder into a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove, add milk chocolate let it sit for a minutes and stir with a spatula until completely melted, and whisk into the cocoa mixture and vanilla extract.
Place chocolate mixture into a stand up electric mixer and beat with the wire whisk, slowly add the butter one piece at the time.
Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
With the mixer running on low speed, add the confectioner sugar a spoonful at a time until it’s all incorporated. Scrape the bowl, then beat at medium speed for one minute more. Use to frost cake as needed.