Wednesday, September 4, 2013
mocha cream cheese tower.
So we've seen ombre cake layers and ombre frosting. Now how about ombre filling?
There are 6 layers of chocolate cake and 5 layers of chocolate cream cheese filling. I don't know how much better it can get than this but it actually can! The chocolate cream cheese filling is designed to have varying amounts of chocolate to achieve a beautiful gradient effect with the darkest and most chocolaty filling at the bottom, working its way up to the top with an off-white filling sans chocolate (okay then you can't exactly call it a chocolate cream cheese filling too). To top it off, you drape the entire thing in chocolate glaze. Can you say oh. em. gee.
I wished I could have been a bit more meticulous and made the cake neater and more even but unfortunately I'm not the most skilled with a knife. I was trying to slice the baked cakes horizontally into half (I deviated from the recipe's instructions and made 3 cakes) but my eyes weren't quite level and I ended up sawing the cakes in a downward slanted motion. Um, not good. I had uneven cake layers as a result with some parts so thin that the edges were sort of fraying and crumbs were dropping with every brush. And then, impatient human I am, I decided to skip the freezing process for some of the layers of filling that would later help keep it from oozing out from the sides as you stack the next layer of cake on. As you can pretty much guess, there was so pretty messy oozing.
After I stacked the filled cakes, oozing filling and showering crumbs and all, I took a step back and decided that I should just go for a rustic look. Hah.
To be honest, this cake is more about the concept than the taste (although it does taste good- so moist!), so you can just use your own favourite chocolate cake recipe. I say this because while it is a decent chocolate cake, it's crumbly and frankly quite annoying, and if I could I would replace it with a chocolate cake that would hold together better. I would advise using an oil-based chocolate recipe versus a butter-based one because the denseness of the latter when cold could make the cake quite heavy going. I mean, we are talking 6 layers.
I really hope this cake goes viral! It's a marvel once you cut yourself a slice. I should think of other flavour variations for this gradient-filling-concept. Hmm... caramel? Raspberry?
P.S. I kinda noticed that almost of my recent (er, used loosely) few recipes are chocolate so I'm going to try do a non-chocolate post next! And soon!
P.P.S Follow me on my instagram, please and thank you!
Mocha Ricotta Tower
makes an 8 inch cake
slightly adapted from Bake It Like You Mean It
For the cake:
2 cups cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup strong coffee
2 eggs + 2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
For the filling:
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup butter
46 ounces cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp strong coffee, cold
5 tbsp icing sugar, sifted and divided
For the coffee simple syrup:
1 cup coffee
1 cup sugar
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 6 8-inch round cake pans.
Whisk the cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt together. Whisk the coffee, eggs and egg whites together. Whisk the coffee mixture and cocoa powder mixture together.
Whisk the sugar, oil and vanilla extract until combined. Add the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Add the flour mixture in 3 mixtures and buttermilk in 2 alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.
Make the coffee syrup: Heat the coffee and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Cool before using.
Make the filling: Combine the chocolate, 1/2 cup of cream and butter in a heatproof bowl and heat over a pan of simmering water until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Stir the cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth. Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly amongst 5 bowls.
To the first bowl, add half the chocolate mixture; to the second, add half of the remaining chocolate mixture; to the third, add half of the remaining chocolate mixture; to the fourth, add half the remaining chocolate mixture and 1 tbsp icing sugar; to the last bowl, add 2 tbsp icing sugar. Stir each bowl until just combined. Add more chocolate to any bowl that looks too light so that the colors graduate naturally. Refrigerate the remaining chocolate mixture.
Whip the remaining 2 1/2 cups cream, coffee and remaining 2 tbsp icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped cream evenly amongst each of the five bowls and gently fold into each of the mixture.
To assemble: Place a cake round on a cake board. Brush an even layer of coffee syrup onto the cake. Spread the most chocolaty filling evenly on the layer and place in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until firm.
Place the second cake round over the filling and press gently to adhere. Brush with syrup again and spread the second most chocolaty filling evenly on top. Freeze again for 15 minutes, or until firm.
Repeat for the remaining layers in order of the most chocolaty to least chocolaty filling. Brush the top layer of cake with coffee syrup too before freezing for 15 minutes. After which, refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove the reserved chocolate mixture from the fridge and stir to a spreadable consistency. Frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of chocolate. You're finally done!