Chocolate Mocha Cake

chocolatemochacake
My dad has very simple tastes when it comes to dessert.  It must include chocolate, coffee, or preferably both.  For his birthday cake this year, I decided to make a chocolate genoise, which was sturdy enough for 3 layers of coffee cream filling.  I covered the whole cake with a rich and fudgy mocha frosting.  The cake was overly brown, and I didn’t have time to make colored frosting to decorate with, so I threw some red sprinkles around the outer edge of the top, and just used some chocolate chips to add contrast.  

This cake is pretty rich, so cut the pieces small, but if you like mocha, you’re in the right place!

Chocolate Genoise(from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard)

6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) melted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted 3 times<

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line the bottoms of two 9 x 2" round pans, and grease the sides.
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer.  Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place over the simmering water, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to 110 F.
Remove the bowl from the heat and place on the mixer.  Beat with a whisk attachment on high for 5 to 8 minutes.  The eggs should be very light in color and 3 times the original volume.  Turn down to medium and mix 2 minutes more.
With the mixer on low, drizzle in the melted butter and mix until incorporated.
Combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir well to eliminate any lumps.  Carefully fold into the egg foam using a balloon whisk.
Add the flour to the foam all at once and fold it in carefully with the whisk, just until incorporated, maintaining as much of the foam as possible.
Pour into the pans, and tap each pan lightly on the counter to eliminate air bubbles. Swirl the pans a few times so the batter comes up the sides a little.  
Bake about 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you press lightly on the middle.  It will also pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.  
Let cool on a rack (still in the pans) for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and remove the parchment to cool completely.<

Coffee Cream
(adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard)

1 3/4 cups milk (I used 1% and it worked just fine – I wouldn’t use skim though!)
1/4 cup hot water mixed with 1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or 1/4 cup espresso)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch salt
3 large eggs, chilled
1 tbsp softened butter

Sift together cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add sifted dry ingredients.  Whisk until fluffy.
Bring milk, espresso, and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Drizzle slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  Transfer the entire mixture back into the pan that the milk was in.
Rapidly whisk the mixture, and allow to boil for about 3 minutes, or until it has the consistency of pudding.  
Remove from heat. 
Rinse the bowl the eggs were in and dry it. 
Strain the pastry cream into the bowl and stir in the butter and vanilla.
Press plastic wrap onto the surface and chill for several hours, until cool. If you want to speed the cooling process, place the bowl in an ice bath and stir every few minutes until cool.

Mocha Frosting
(from epicurious.com)
10 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant espresso
1 tbsp corn syrup

Mix the vanilla and instant espresso in a small bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (with a paddle attachment), beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy.  Pour in the melted chocolate and continue to beat on medium speed.
Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar, a little at a time.  
Add the vanilla mixture and corn syrup and beat on medium for about 1 minute, until uniformly mixed.
To assemble the cake, cut each layer of genoise in half.  Spread the bottom with 1/3 of the coffee cream, then place another cake layer on top of it.  Spread this layer with another 1/3 of the coffee cream.  Repeat, then place the last cake layer on the top.  Frost with the mocha frosting 

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