At the end of last month it was his 21st, but due to exams we couldn't celebrate on the day! However I promised I would bake him a cake nonetheless, and he requested coffee cake!
This is my recipe for a super-indulgent coffee and chocolate celebration cake! There are 4 main elements, the cake itself, a chocolate ganache which fills the cakes, a coffee frosting and then the chocolate top.
This is the finished product!
As you can imagine it hasn't lasted very long! There is one lonely piece left! I wonder who will be the lucky one to get it?
The basic birthday cake recipe can be found here: Birthday Cake
I will outline the ganache, frosting, and how I decorated the cake below!
300ml Double Cream
300ml Dark Chocolate
The ganache is surprisingly easy. With a good quality double cream, and a good quality chocolate this can be whipped up (quite literally) in minutes!
First heat the double cream in a pan until it just comes to the boil.
Once it begins to bubble, take off the heat and pour over the chocolate (which you will need to break down into cubes). Keep stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes glossy.
This then needs to be whipped up - ideally with an electric whisk - until it becomes thick but spreadable!
It will be REALLY hard at this stage not to grab a spoon and eat it all but trust me, the cake will be worth it at the end!
350g Icing Sugar
1 Egg White
15ml Coffee (made with hot water or milk...your choice)
This frosting is REALLY easy! Whisk up the egg whites and the butter. When it starts getting thicker add in the coffee then finally whisk in the icing sugar.
You may find that you need more icing sugar on this. This will depend on how thick the mixture got when you whisked up the other ingredients.
To build the cake, remove the ganache from the fridge and spread it straight onto the first layer of the cake.
Spread this right up to the edges and place the other layer of the sandwich cake on top.
You need to make sure that the ganache goes right up to the edge and there are no lumps and bumps or gaps between both layers of the cake. I found the best way to do this was to pipe extra ganache onto the edge of the cake and smooth down with a palette knife so the cake was smooth all of the way round.
Next cover the cake all over in the frosting.
Once the cake is completely positive, pop the whole cake back in the fridge. By keeping the cake really cool it stops it spoiling (after all there is a lot of fresh cream, egg, and butter in the cake) and it will also help with the final layer of decoration.
When the cake has become extremely cool, begin melting roughly 300g of dark chocolate in a bowl over some hot water. Remove from the heat once the chocolate is completely smooth, and allow it to cool.
Make sure you keep stirring so you can feel when it is about to start setting again. When the chocolate is cool but still runny, pour over the top of the cake.
I decided to allow it to drip down the sides so I had a smooth chocolate top but you could still see the coffee frosting beneath!
You can decorate the chocolate top however you would like once the chocolate has set! I chose to do big blobs of frosting sprinkled with coffee!
I think the cake was balanced quite well, the coffee was not too overpowering, and the plain sponge meant that there was a level of sweetness which the dark chocolate and coffee did not give.
One tip if you want to make coffee a bigger feature, is to brush the two layers of sponge cake with a coffee syrup before building. This will also keep the sponge really moist!
Happy 21st Jonny!