© 2017 by Mimi's Kitchen

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Chocolate Espresso Birthday Cake

August 19, 2018

Any kid can tell you that you do not turn another year older until you blow out the candles and eat the cake. Upon taking the first bite the formerly single digit kid turns into a double digit kid. It is magic. Double digits is when good stuff starts to happen. The kid gets his first sleep over party, the bike boundary is expanded, and he is grows into a little later school night bedtime. Life is good when you turn double digits. Or so that is how life has just happened for the Kitchen's July Grandkid. He just turned 10. Double digits. That is a big deal. It was  made even bigger with Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Whippy Cream Frosting. 

Chocolate Espresso Cake with Chocolate Whippy Cream frosting, however, is not reserved solely for double digit birthdays. They make all occasions better and have the power to turn a 'nothing special' day into a memorable celebration of life. 

These cupcakes are especially moist with a just right cake crumb and a deep, dark chocolate espresso flavor. They are filled with a dark fudgy ganache and topped with a perfectly pipable chocolate whippy cream. 

This recipe can be baked in two 8 or 9 inch rounds but I prefer cupcakes. They are easy to serve to a crowd and easy to pipe. 

 

 

Chocolate Espresso Birthday Cake

 

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ cups granulated sugar

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons espresso powder

¾ cup buttermilk

½ cup water

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 325°. 

Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.

 

Sift flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder into a large mixing bowl.

 

In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.

 

Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until a smooth batter is form. Be careful to avoid over mixing the batter so that gluten does not form thus creating a tough cake.

 

Fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full of cake batter.

 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. I first check after 15 minutes of baking but usually leave the cupcakes in the oven 18 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.

 

Remove baked cupcakes from the oven and let cool on wire racks for 5 minutes then carefully lift each cupcake from the tin and allow to cool on wire racks for two hours or until completely cooled.

 

Ganache Filling

 

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon corn syrup

 

Place chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a small saucepan warm the cream just until beginning to bubble. Do not bring it to a full boil.

Pour hot cream over chocolate and corn syrup and cover bowl with a plate. Let it rest 10 minutes and then gently stir with a spatula until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Let cool 15-20 minutes.

 

When the cupcakes are cooled cut out a hole in the top of the cupcake. Make it just big enough to hold 2-3 teaspoons of ganache filling. It will still be runny when you dribble it into the cupcake hole but will firm up within an hour. If you need to speed up the process then put the cupcakes in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

 

 

Chocolate Whippy Cream Frosting

 

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon corn syrup

2 cups whipping cream

 

Place chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a medium sized mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan warm the cream just until beginning to bubble. Do not bring it to a full boil.

Pour hot cream over chocolate and corn syrup and cover bowl with a plate. Let it rest 10 minutes and then gently stir with a spatula until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Let cool until thickened and no longer warm to the touch. This might take 2 hours. If you need to speed up the process then place the bowl in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Check every 15 minutes  to avoid over-chilling the ganache. 

 

In a larger bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add a scoop of cream to the cooled chocolate and cream mixture and beat in until the mixture is softened.

 

Continue beating the remaining cream until peaks form that may stand on their own. Fold this whipped cream into the chocolate cream mixture.

 

Frost cupcakes by your preferred method. I prefer to use a piping bag fitted with a large star or round tip but the cupcakes may be topped with nothing fancier than a small angled spatula, just like Grandma used to do it. 

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