It was Papa's birthday on Dec 2nd and Manish requested that I bake a cake to celebrate. Well the hidden reason behind the request was also that he could have some cake himself :-) Papa is Manish's father and my sweet sweet father-in-law. I know I'm a bit late in posting this, but better late than never right!!
This year's December is full of celebrations for us. Papa's birthday, my Moms birthday, our Wedding Anniversary , our little baby's Choroonu (Annaprastha- the day that first solids are given to baby), then Chrsitmas , New Years Eve etc etc. Also Appu as we call our baby at home, turns 5month old this month - how time flies!! All in all several reasons to celebrate. I'm hoping I'll be able to celebrate each special day atleast by making one special dish.
So starting with Papa's bday cake :-) Both my parents-in-law love to have coffee. I guess in Kerala every house would have a coffee tree and they gather the coffee seeds and grind, roast and brew their own coffee and I must say that that fresh coffee tastes much better than our instant versions.
Thats when I thought maybe I should make a Coffee flavored cake with some chocolate in it, a combo that would suit my love of chocolate and their love for coffee. :-)
Now I read several sites online and it states that Mocha or Mocha Latte is a combination of half espresso and half chocolate added to steamed milk. That's how I came to naming the cake as Mocha cake. Also the whipped cream topping flavored with Coffee and Chocolate gives an almost exact flavor of a Mocha latte.
I made a simple mocha flavored sponge cake and topped it with Mocha flavored cream and decorated with some chocolate flavored whipping cream. I used store bought whipped cream - Coolwhip , but you can use regular whipping cream and beat the cream until soft peaks appear. I gave the frosting on the cake top a swirly look instead of a smooth finish.
It wasn't a thick cake as I made just enough batter so that it gets over quickly :-) As we have lots of events to celebrate this month , I want each item to be enjoyed well, but at the same time it should get over too you know.
You can adjust the sponge cake recipe with my Mango Gateau recipe for a bigger sponge cake.
Recipe source: My own ( decided after checking various websites for measurement)
For Mocha sponge cake :
All-purpose flour - 1cup
Granulated sugar - 1cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3
Cocoa powder - 2 tblsp
Instant coffee powder - 1.5 tblsp ( I used Bru coffee)
Salt - a pinch
For moistening the cake:
Water - 3 tblsp (use warm water)
Instant coffee powder - 1 tblsp
Sugar - 1tblsp
For whipped cream topping :
Coolwhip - 2-3 cups
Melted chocolate - 1tsp (use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Instant coffee powder - 1tsp
Powdered sugar - 2 tsp (optional)
For Mocha sponge cake :
1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9" round baking pan with butter and keep aside.
2. Using an electric or hand beater, beat together the eggs and sugar for 8-10 minutes without stopping until a thick consistency is obtained.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients - all purpose flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder and salt.
4. Add the sifted ingredients into the beaten egg-sugar mixture slowly and fold the ingredients together until incorporated well.
5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a fork inserted in the cake comes out clean.
6. Let the cake cool for about 30minutes.
For whipped cream topping:
1. Soften 1 tsp semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave.
2. Add the melted chocolate to the coffee powder and mix very well, it will form a thick paste.
3. Take some whipped cream and mix it with the coffee-chocolate paste.
4. Slowly fold in the rest of the whipping cream with the coffee and chocolate mixed cream and add powdered sugar as needed to sweeten the cream.
( As I haven't added water while mixing the coffee, the coffee will remain like little specks in the cream, if you do not like the bitterness of the raw coffee, then melt the coffee in little warm water before mixing with the melted chocolate)
5. Refrigerate for 15mins before frosting as the Coolwhip may start to thin out.
For assembling the cake:
1. Once the cake is cooled, using a sharp serrated knife , cut a thin line around the circumference of the cake and cut the cake slowly making two halves.
2. For moistening the cake, mix together the water, coffee powder and sugar and using a pastry brush, slightly rub this liquid inside the cake halves.(This will help to moisten the cake and also infuse further coffee falvor in the cake.You can moderate the taste depending on how much coffee flavor you'd like)
3. Get your cake stand ready and apply a little cream in the centre to avoid the cake from moving.
4. Place one half of the cake in the middle of the stand and add 2-3tblsp of mocha cream on it and smoothen in over the entire cake ( I used a butter knife to smoothen). You can add as much cream as you'd like depending on how thick you want your filling to be.
5. Place the other half over the cream filled half , and use the rest of the Mocha flavored cream to cover the rest of the cake , on the top and around the sides.
Suggestion: You can decorate with some chocolate flavored whipping cream if you like as I did. Just melt 2-3 tblsp of semi-sweet chcoclate chips or add cocoa powder and some powdered sugar and gently fold into the whipping cream and refrigerate for 20 mins before using. I used a star shaped Wilton cake decorating tip for the decoration.
Half the cake was over before I could take a snap of a slice to show you how it looked :-) We loved the cake , it had a really good taste and smell of coffee and the chocolate added an awesome richness. We made our little Appu cut the cake...he enjoyed cutting it I think ;-)
The cake was a bit chewy like a brownie though. I'm not a cake expert so I'm not really very sure what caused that. If you have suggestions definitely do let me know. Nevertheless it was a hit at home!!
Have a lovely December :-)
(Updated on Dec 8)
Sending this post to:
1. Christmas Delicacy event hosted by Julie.
2. Jingle All the way event hosted by Kavi.
3. Bake with your Heart event hosted by Khushi.
4. Bake Fest # 2 , being hosted by Sangee Vijay , started by Vardhini of Zesty Palette.