Thursday, August 30, 2012

Espresso Layer Cake

My dad's 61st birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  Since I don't make a lot of money I decided to bake him a cake made from his favorite drink in the whole wide world:  coffee.  He ended up getting an espresso cake, but espresso is just stronger coffee, I think.  My husband got him a DVD of that recent Three Stooges movie, another one of my father's favorites.  I've never made this cake before so it was a little bit of a challenge.  There were many ingredients and a whole lot of instructions.  The finished product was a success though.  I was afraid of it tasting too much like espresso or coffee, but it wasn't too overbearing.  I found this recipe in my Cooking Light Way to Bake cook book.

What you'll need for the cake:
Cooking Spray
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons finely ground espresso
10.13 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 and 1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

For the frosting you'll need:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used 1/4 light and 1/4 dark)
7 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk
2 teaspoons finely ground espresso
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Whole coffee beans (optional, for decoration)

First you'll want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Also coat two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray, line them with wax paper, and spray more cooking spray on top of the wax paper.

Combine 1/4 cup hot water and 2 tablespoons espresso in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Combine granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Place 1/4 cup sugar mixture, shortening, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed for 30 seconds or until well combined.

Increase speed to medium; add remaining sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition.  Scrape sides of bowl; beat an additional 5 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.

Add espresso mixture, beating until well combined.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Discard wax paper.

To prepare frosting, melt butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup brown sugar; cook 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth, stirring frequently with a whisk.  Stir in evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon at a time;  cook 3 minutes or until mixture resembles caramel sauce.

Remove from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons espresso.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting.  Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.  Arrange coffee beans on top of cake, if desired.  Let cake stand 1 hour or until frosting is set.


No comments:

Post a Comment