Monday, March 2, 2009

Espresso Mocha Cake

I got a call Sunday night from a friend asking me if I can bake a cake for his aunt's birthday on Tuesday. It's always one of those calls that I've been waiting for. :) Since the birthday was on Tuesday, I had to get the cake done on Monday. Thankfully, I had Monday off. It's such a perfect timing. The specification for the cake were for the cake to have espresso and dark chocolate components and to have lots of chocolate decors. So here it is...

The cake is made of 2 layers of espresso cotton cake, filled with mocha mousse, and covered in dark chocolate ganache. I have to admit that this was the first time for me to make an espresso cotton cake and it is also the first time for me to make a mocha mousse. I guess this is one of my experimental cakes. :p Since this was for 5 people, I made a small 6" cake. I'm also still experimenting with ganache - as evidenced with my use of ganache in almost every cake I made. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but at least, I was able to cover the cake with it "rather smoothly." One thing that I wasn't pleased with in the cake is my writing. The letters didn't come out very smoothly and although it is legible, it's not very nice. I'm really sorry for this oopsie.

As mentioned in my previous post, I had been playing with creating chocolate decorations since Friday and made a little progress with it. I was finally able to make chocolate curls, which I used in this cake, and chocolate loops, which I also used to make the heart. I'm very excited about these and I think I'll be playing with more chocolate from now on. The trick for me is to keep the room temperature cool - 70F or less.

With the cake batter, I was able to make two 6" cakes and one 4" cake. I used the small cake to make a mini version of the espresso mocha cake. :) In this one, you cake see the difference components of the cake.

I would like to give credit to Cocolat by Alice Medrich for the mocha mousse and the clear step by step instructions to make chocolate curls. :) This book has a lot of good standard recipes for chocolate desserts and give you ideas on how to combine them to make plenty of eye-catching chocolate creations.

Now, for the recipes...

Espresso Cotton Cake (adapted from Bertha's Blueberry Cotton Cake)

50 ml milk
75g butter
50 g cake flour
5 g espresso powder
7 egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

7 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
175 g sugar

Heat the oven to 350F and line two 6" pans and one 4" pan (or two 8" pans) with parchment paper. Sift the flour and espresso together. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, heat the milk and butter until all the butter have melted. While still hot, pour the flour mixture to the milk+butter and whisk till well combined. Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the egg yolk one at a time. Then, stir in the vanilla extract.

On a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy and then add the cream of tartar. Continue whisking until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar to the egg white mixture while whisking until you get a glossy white meringue.

Fold a quarter of the egg white to the egg yolk mixture to soften it and then fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter. Pour into the prepared pans and bake in water bath for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in came out clean. When done, cool the pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and invert to release.

Mocha Mousse (adapted from Cocolat)

125g milk chocolate
2 tsp instant coffee powder
175 ml heavy cream

On top of a double broiler, melt the milk chocolate and espresso powder together. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. Once melted, take if off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture to soften it and then fold in the remaining cream. Pour the mousse into the mold and cool in the fridge until set.

Dark Chocolate Ganache (adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours)

120 ml heavy cream
110 g dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Heat the heavy cream in a heavy bottomed pan until boiling (be very careful as the cream rises very quickly once it starts boiling). Pour half of the cream to the chocolate, let sit for 30 seconds, and slowly whisk in a circular motion (start from the center and move outwards). Once the mixture is blended, pour the other half of the cream into the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the butter one piece at a time and stir until combined. The ganache is ready to be poured on the cake.

I hope you all enjoyed baking the cake! If you do try this recipe, please let me know your feedback on it so that I can improve.


  1. Excellent, Yossi! ="D
    I think it looks perfectly well done hehe you're too humble for such a nice and tempting looking cake =")

    It's really amazing how you still have time to make excellent sweets in the midst of your busy work time. =")

    I want to try the recipe! hehe

  2. Licu,

    Thanks for the encouraging words :) Let me know how the cake is for you.

    Hope you'll like it.