When a friend’s birthday is coming, it gives me a reason to browse through all the cookbooks and recipes that I have on hand to select a birthday cake recipe.
This cake is made using a good amount of dark chocolate. Mine contained almost 70% of cocoa. One bite of this cake really gives off the “oomph” of the chocolate. It is that rich. I’m a lover of dark chocolate, so this cake is really one of my favourites.
The cake is baked in a 7-inch round cake tin instead of an 8-inch one. I scooped a small ladle of the batter into a ramekin and baked it alongside with the 7-inch cake just so that I can have a taste of the cake. The cake therefore is higher, and I think that it is possible to split the cake in half and sandwich with some vanilla buttercream. Yum.
The only disappointment that I have from this cake is that the chocolate flavour is so strong that it overpowers the coffee taste. It tastes more like a chocolate cake than a mocha cake. None of my friends can tell that there’s a hint of coffee in it, and neither can I. I think this may be due to the inferior quality of the instant coffee that I use. Perhaps if I have used instant espresso or a more intensely-flavoured coffee, the coffee flavour will be brought out more.
Nevertheless, I think that this cake is a must-try for chocoholics because of its intense chocolate flavour and the cake is not very sweet because of the dark chocolate (also because I reduced a bit of the sugar amount). If I try this recipe again, I will probably double up the coffee amount or use espresso instead, and try making a layer cake sandwiched with vanilla buttercream. I think the recipe can probably serve 10 instead of 8 because of the richness of the cake, but I guess it depends on the taste of your guests! (:
Mocha Birthday Cake
- 100 grams plain chocolate, finely chopped
- 80 ml double cream
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20-cm (8-inch) round cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. (I used a 7-inch round, loose-base cake tin, so besides greasing, I also line the sides and bottom with greaseproof paper.)
- Put the chocolate, butter, sugar, milk and coffee together in a large pan. Heat very gently, stirring, until the butter and chocolate have melted, the sugar have dissolved and everything is incorporated and smooth. Remove from the heat and leave it aside to cool for 15 minutes. The mixture will still be a little bit warm.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture into a deep bowl and beat in the eggs. Sift the flours and cocoa directly into the mixture and fold the it in. Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 1 and a 1/2 hours. Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream into a pot and heat until almost boiling, the sides will be bubbling (with small bubbles), but make sure it does not end up a rolling boil! Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth, then leave to cool and thicken slightly – for about 30 minutes, depending on the weather – before pouring it over the cake. Decorate with chocolate shavings. Or, wait for the ganache to harden, and before serving, dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Recipe adapted from 500 Cakes by Susannah Blake