CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO LAYER CAKE – Devils Food Cake


Here in Sicily I’ve been inspired by all the fantastic coffee here and the great cakes that we’ve been eating and I’ve decided to make a gorgeous espresso chocolate layer cake to share with you. Now on a scale from one to ten it’s probably about a seven to make but if you think about it here in this little holiday home that we are in, we’ve been able to make it and I’m going to take you through it step by step. Before we make this cake let me just talk you through the layers we’re starting with a super moist chocolate devil’s food cake and I’ve brushed that with a little espresso as well, above that we’ve got this light and airy Swiss meringue buttercream with a wonderful espresso flavouring in there. Above that we’ve got another layer of Swiss meringue buttercream this one is flavoured with chocolate, in total three layers of moist devil’s food cake and then the whole thing has been coated with this gorgeous honey and chocolate ganache coating. So if you think you’re up for it come on let’s get on and bake this. Whilst we do the cake mix you might as well have your oven preheated to 175 degrees Celsius thats 350 Fahrenheit because it doesn’t take long to make this batter. Now I have some softened butter in my mixing bowl, 345 grams that’s about 12 ounces of slightly salted butter and into that I’m just going to add 450 grams of soft brown sugar that’s about a pound. Now we want to cream these together, now I’m just going to scrape down the side of my bowl. Into that batter we’re going to add three eggs, again we’re just going to scrape the bowl down. Now in a separate bowl I’ve got 360 grams of all-purpose flour that’s about 12 and a half ounces and I’m going to be adding into that 75 grams, two-and-a-half ounces of cocoa, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking soda and I’m going to give that a rough mix through, it doesn’t have to be completely mixed. Now I’ve got two and a quarter cups of strong espresso coffee that I’ve made here, I’m not going to add it all in at once so I’m going to add 1 cup in at first, roughly half my dry ingredients and we’re going to mix this together. So when that’s combined I’m just going to take the rest of our coffee and we’ll add the last of our dry ingredients and we’re just going to mix it on a low speed until we’ve got a lovely smooth batter. Now I’m going to bake three cakes from this batter with 8-inch round that’s about 20 centimeters and what I’ve done with each one is lined it with butter put a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and then I dusted over with some cocoa powder and what that’s going to do is let the cake release really easy once it’s baked. So let’s get and divide that batter up. Now we just want to level down our batter and we’re going to bake the cakes for 30 to 40 minutes I found in my oven it’s about 35 minutes until they’re perfectly cooked. Now when you’re three cakes come out of the oven you should give them a little push down now if they’re fully cooked through you’ll get a slight bounce back, Take them out of the oven and let them cool down for at least 30 minutes or so until they’re cool enough that you can touch. Then what we want to do is just put your hand on to the Cake, turn it out. Now it should come out super easy like that, I’m going to pop it onto a cooling rack and we let it continue to completely cool down until we’re ready to use it. Next we’re going to make a delicious Swiss meringue buttercream to go inside and outside this cake and I’m making it with two different flavours, an espresso and a real chocolate. Now a Swiss meringue frosting is a little more complicated to make than a regular butter frosting but trust me it’s so much more delicious and lighter. Now we just want to separate six eggs and six yolks. Pop my yolks away, now keep those yolks you can always use them in another recipe later on. Now we’re pop our 6 egg whites into a bowl and add into that 300 grams, that’s a cup and a half of regular granulated sugar. We’re going to heat this on the stove on a double boiler and we’re going to whisk it with an electric whisk while it is, to get the volume in there. It should be about 70 degrees Celsius that’s a hundred and sixty fahrenheit but you can generally see when the crystals of the sugar have dissolved and you’ve got this lovely fluffy white meringue. Our meringue foam now it’s nice and stiff, now we’re going to add into that 500 grams of butter, that’s about 17 ounces and I’m going to put it in a bit at a time but make sure the butter is nice and soft and it’s at room temperature. We pop this in and start to whisk this up, add a little bit at a time. Now once all the butter is incorporated into the meringue you’re going to see it get a lot looser, so we just want to continue to whisk this until it thickens up again and then pop this aside for a moment. I’ve got to prepare some chocolate and some espresso. Now I haven’t got a microwave where I am at the moment so I’ve still got my hot water here on the stove I’ve got 200 grams of dark chocolate in another bowl and I’m just going to pop it over the hot water until this is completely melted. I want that to cool down just a little bit before we add our butter cream into it, I’m going to take half of this buttercream now and just pop it in with our cooled chocolate and then mix it together so we get a lovely chocolate buttercream and then we’re going to leave this to completely cool down. Now with the other buttercream we’ve got here we’re going to make this an nice coffee flavour. I’ve got a strong espresso shot here, I’m not going to use it all I’m going to use just about half, pour that over the buttercream there, keep a little bit back there. I’ve taken the whisk off the mixer and I’m just going to blend it in So I’ve got this lovely smooth espresso buttercream. Time to construct this beautiful cake. Now I’ve got my cake layers here and I’m just going to level a tiny bit off the top I want about an inch thickness, so we have three even layers of cake now, Just going to turn that over to take the paper off, I’ll just lay it down on a fresh piece of wax paper, I’m going to brush some espresso onto here just to get that rich coffee flavor into the cake. Next we’re going to take some of the espresso cream and what I want to do is just evenly coat over this cake. Next we’re going to take our chocolate buttercream, I’m going to lay that over the top and then add your next layer cake on there and repeat and the last layer. I’m going to use the chocolate buttercream I’ve decided, I’m going to put a very thin coat, just a crumb coat on this. Now set my chocolate cake to chill in the fridge we want it in there for at least a couple of hours, perhaps even overnight and whilst that chills I’m going to get on and make a beautiful chocolate ganache to coat it with. I’m using a dark chocolate, 135 grams, that’s four and a half ounces and in a bowl I’m just going to heat it over a double boiler until completely melted. Now the last little bit of chocolate is just starting to melt and that’s only taking a few moments. What I’m going to do is just turn the heat off and set that aside, in a small pan I’ve got one cup of thick cream and I’m going to take 4 tablespoons of honey into the cream and I want to bring the honey and cream up to a rolling boil. Now thats come up to the boil, let’s take it off the heat. I have my melted chocolate, my honey and cream, I’m just going to pour half the honey and cream into the chocolate and we’re just going to mix that together until we get a nice smooth cream. I’ll add in the last honey and cream and stir this until you get a lovely rich ganache. Now whilst our ganache is still nice and hot, I’ve got 75 grams, about a third of a cup of salted butter, I’m just going to pop that in and this is going to give a lovely gloss to the ganache. Now if we were to pour this over the cake right now it would just run straight off the side, so we want to cool this down to 40 degrees Celsius, thats about a hundred and four fahrenheit and then give it a lovely even coating. Now my cake surface is nice and chilled it’s been in the fridge, I’m just going to take that paper off of there and very gently….. I’m going to lay it down on a cooling rack the ganache is at the temperature I’m looking for and I’m going to pour the chocolate over the cake, let it run down the sides. Now the last stage ,this may look like a bowl of crushed Oreo cookies but it’s actually the top of, the trimmings of the cake and I just dried it in the oven and made it into a loose Crumb. It’s easy to get a nice smooth top with a poured sauce but sometimes it can be a little rough on the edges. I’m going to take our crumb and I’m just going to drag it up the sides of the cake and it’s just going to give this lovely finish to the side of the cake. Now I’m so looking forward to this, just take that piece of cake out, if you’re brave enough to give this ago send me some photographs on social media I love to see how it comes out for you. It just remains for me now to give this a try. That is probably one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I’ve ever tried. If you enjoyed the recipe, share the love, give this a thumbs up, don’t forget subscribe to the channel because more recipes will be coming up very very shortly on Steve’s Kitchen. I’ll see you next time.

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