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Makes one 9- inch round layer cake feeding about 18 people

Chocolate cake

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups hot brewed coffee

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of each pan with a parchment paper circle and spray again. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour in each pan. Rotate to coat all surfaces and knock out excess. Set pans aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa and brewed coffee, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  5. On low speed, beat in one third of the flour mixture followed by one half of the cocoa mixture. Add another third of the flour mixture followed by the remaining cocoa mixture. Blend in remaining flour mixture. Combine well.
  6. Evenly divide the batter between the pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a small knife inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool cakes until barely warm and remove from pans.

Chocolate Fudge Icing

3 cups heavy cream

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 cups milk chocolate chips

  1. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add both chocolates. Whisk until melted.
  2. Cool down by whisking over an ice water bath or chilling in the refrigerator until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Assembly of the Cake

Additional whole chocolate covered coffee beans to decorate the top of the finished cake

  1. Place 1 cake layer onto a serving platter. Spread about ¾ cup of Chocolate Fudge Icing evenly over the entire layer using an offset spatula.
  2. Place second cake layer on top of the icing. Press down gently to seal.
  3. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining Chocolate Fudge Icing. There will be extra to decorate the top of the cake.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip half full with the Chocolate Fudge Icing and pipe stars or rosettes on top of the cake decoratively. Top each star or rosette with a chocolate covered coffee bean. Chill until ready to serve.

Note:

Any extra Chocolate Fudge Icing can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to 6 months. It can be melted down in the microwave and used as a chocolate sauce over ice cream or cake.

Tips for Success:

  1. When creaming the butter and sugar in the electric mixer, do not rush the process. It may take 3-5 minutes. The butter and sugar mixture should be light, fluffy and the color will lighten as air becomes incorporated. These air cells help create the fine texture of the cake.
  2. When combining the dry ingredients, be sure to whisk them thoroughly. This will ensure the chemical leaveners, baking powder and baking soda, are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  3. Remove the cakes from their pans when they are barely warm. They will be easier to remove when not completely cooled.