Chocolate Coffee Cake flavored with Orange

I love browsing through my cook books to find new ideas, new recipes and new tips. Many of them are beautiful, but the one that I like the most is my family’s recipe book. My mum has been having it for a long time, writing down her best recipes (like the tomato bruschetta), my grandmothers’ ones or her friends’ masterpieces, writing down all those recipes which have been told during Sunday lunches at my grandparents’,  having a coffee or having a dinner with all our mates.

Each page od that book tells a story, each coffee stain make thousand of unforgettable memories spring back to mind and each recipe is linked to a special person like Nunzia o Antonella.

 

My family's recipe book.

My family’s recipe book.

 

When I was a little kid, my mum was used to bake a fantastic and glorious chocolate cake for my birthday; something super easy, but amazingly delicious. As soon as I started baking, it was me the ‘baker’ at home, but that cake was still only a mum’s masterpiece. But, as I was saying, browsing between my family’s recipe book, I found the recipe of it. I couldn’t wait to try it and to create my own version of this incredible cake.

So guys, today I’m sharing this fantastic Chocolate Coffee Cake flavored with Orange recipe and I promise you, it will steal your heart.

This terrific chocolate cake has been turned into a chocolate coffee cake with a crumble texture, extra moist and super airy. Then a sweet and fresh orange simple syrup comes, drenching those lovely cake layers. And eventually, two extra decadent fillings go in between each sponge layer: a rich chocolate ganache and a light coffee buttercream.

The textures of this cake will surprise you, but before to diving into it, you will be impressed by the look of it:

 

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INGREDIENTS:

For the chocolate coffee cake:

  • 2  1/4 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/4 cups (300 grams) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tbsp (50 grams) espresso coffee (at room temperature)
  • 6 tbsp (80 grams) whole milk (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1  3/4 stick (200 grams) unsalted butter

For the orange simple syrup:

  • 1 cup (225 grams) water
  • 1 cup (225 grams) sugar
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • the juice of  1/2  orange

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp (200 grams) heavy cream
  • 5.25 Oz (150 grams) dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) unsalted butter

For the coffee buttercream (crème Anglaise method)

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp (50 grams) espresso coffee
  • 6 1/2 tbsp (100 grams) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) caster sugar (for the egg yolks)
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) caster sugar (for the milk)
  • 11 tbsp (165 grams) room unsalted room temperature butter

For the assembly:

  • the zest of one orange (optional)

 

 

METHOD:

For the chocolate cake:

  1. preheat your oven at 350F° (180°C).
  2. make the chocolate cake: into the microwave or in a small saucepan melt the butter. Set that aside to cool completely. Separate your eggs: place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip them until foamy. At this point, gradually add half of the sugar and keep whipping until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes, then put your meringue into the fridge while moving on the recipe. In a large mixing bowl whip your egg yolks with the remaining sugar until they become light and pail in color, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract into the cooled melted butter, give it a stir and add it into the yolks mixture. Stir until combined. In a separated bowl combine cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour, stir until uniform in color. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the yolks mixture, stir until slightly combined: at this point you should end up with a quite thick batter. Add the coffee, stir until combined and then add an other 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Repeat the same process, alternating the dry ingredients with the milk (1- yolks and butter mixture   2- addition of 1/3 of the dry ingredients   3- add coffee   4-addition of 1/3 of the dry ingredients   5-add milk   6-addition of 1/3 of the dry ingredients) When that’s done you should get a thick batter, that is exactly what you’re  looking for. Take the meringue out of the fridge, add a spoonful to the batter to loose it up. Whisk until combined. Now that the batter is thinner, you can fold in (using a spatula or a whisk) the remaining egg whites, paying attention to be very gentle. Grease the sides and line the bottom with parchment paper of a 8” (20 cm) square pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake it for about 45 minutes. It will rise quite a lot and it will look like it’s ready before 45 minutes, but keep baking. Check if the cake is baked after 40/42 minutes. When baked, let it cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then inverted it on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the orange simple syrup:

  1.  peel the orange with a knife, removing the white part from the zest. In a medium-size saucepan add water, sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Heat on medium-heat and as soon as it starts to boil cook for about 5 minutes more. Then turn off the heat and let it cool completely.

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. finely chop the dark chocolate and put it in a medium-size bowl together with the butter. Heat the heavy cream with the honey until it slightly starts to simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it rest for 2 minutes without stirring. After the resting time, vigorously stir, starting from the center to the sides. Whisk until you get a thick, but spreadable consistency. Cover in contact with plastic wrap and let it cool at room temperature, then put it into the fridge to set completely.

For the coffee buttercream (crème Anglaise method):

  1.  beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar until combined. Bring milk, coffee and 1/4 cup (5o grams) sugar to a simmer. Once it starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and gradually pour the coffee and milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return custard to the stove, gently heat the mixture to just below the boiling point 185ºF (85ºC): since you’re cooking it, it will thicken. Do not boil or the yolks will curdle. Check to see if it is the right consistency by holding a spatula that is covered with the custard and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the streak remains without the cream running down through the streak, it is ready. Immediately remove from the heat and pass through a sieve and over a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or an hand mixer, beat the crème Anglaise on high speed until has cooled to room temperature. At this point, add the softened butter all at once and whip until creamy, light and fluffy on high speed, about 3-5 minutes.

For assembly:

  1.  transfer the coffee buttercream and the chocolate ganache into two piping bags. I used a large round tip for the chocolate ganache and a large star tip for the coffee buttercream.
  2. level any domed tops of the cake, cut it in half in order to get two layers of about 1” thick. Brush the cake layers generously with the orange simple syrup (cut side up) so that the cake gets very moist. Pipe the coffee buttercream on one layer of the cake, making sure that you’re piping on the side you’ve brushed. Top the coffee buttercream with the other layer of cake (cut and brushed side down). In that  way, the top of your cake will be perfectly flat. Brush again the top of the cake with the syrup, let it rest just a few minutes, then pipe on the top the chocolate ganache. To finish things off, fill any small spot in between the piped chocolate ganache with the remaining coffee buttercream, using a small round tip to pipe. Top with orange zest.

 

The merengue (whipped egg whites whit half of the sugar)

The merengue (whipped egg whites with half of the sugar)

 

Whipped egg yolks: they need to get a pail and light color.

Whipped egg yolks: they need to get a pail and light color.

 

Folding the egg whites.

Before adding the egg whites.

 

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Folding the egg whites.

 

The orange syrup while boiling.

The orange syrup while boiling.

 

The chocolate ganache.

The chocolate ganache.

 

The coffee custard.

The coffee custard.

 

The coffee buttercream.

The coffee buttercream.

 

Brushing the layers with the orange simple syrup.

Brushing the layers with the orange simple syrup.

 

Piped coffee buttercream.

Piped coffee buttercream.

 

Brushing the top of the cake as well.

Brushing the top of the cake as well.

 

The piped chocolate ganache, little spots of coffee buttercream and orange zest.

The piped chocolate ganache, little spots of coffee buttercream and orange zest.

 

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Guys, to be honest, this is one of the best cake I’ve ever made and my grandfather’s new favorite cake. Hope you enjoyed it, give it a try and let me know your version of Chocolate Coffee Cake flavored with Orange. Never stop experiment, trying, tasting.

XOXO Cooker Girl.

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