Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chocolate Chiffon cake with Espresso icing

I went to my first ever engagement party on saturday!
And, being the crazy person I am, I thought it would be possible to make a cake at 12pm AND clean the house and get to the party on time. I made it to the party, and the cake made it to the party...but the house wasn't cleaned and I got into a little bit of hot water.
NEVER MIND because the cake was delicious and it was all worth it.


Chocolate Chiffon cake with Espresso icing

1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 c boiling water
2 c self raising flower
1 c caster sugar
7 eggs seperated
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tspn vanilla

Icing (approximates):
200g softened butter
4 Tbspn milky coffee (mix instant coffee with hot milk)
1.5 kg icing sugar
extra coffee
chocolate flakes (cold) or cocoa to decorate top/sides.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line the base and sides of three 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
Mix cocoa and water in a small bowl and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, sift flour into large mixing bowl. Add sugar, cocoa mix, egg yolks, oil and extract. Beat with electric mixer until smooth and mixture has paled in colour.
In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Fold eggwhites into cocoa mixture in 3-4 batches.

Folding the eggwhites into the cocoa mix - tins are ready!

Pour batter into the three tins, making sure each is the same depth (or weight)

Even tins

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
Turn onto a wire rack and let it cool.


Meanwhile, make the icing. 
Place butter into large bowl. Add half the icing sugar and the milky coffee.
Using a wodden spoon, beat the heck out of everything. Beat and beat and beat until it turns slightly lighter and there are no lumps. 
Add the rest of the icing sugar. If it becomes too stiff, add a bit of milky coffee. What you want is a stiff mixture, that will stand up in peaks, but is still smooth. right? right.

Now comes the tricky (time consuming part). I find its best to use a piping bag for this - but you can use a flat blade/palette knife.
Use a serrated knife to trim the top off all the cakes to make 3 even surface cakes.

I really need to do an instructional video fro this - I'm sorry but words is all I have right now (and some photos from
trimming the top (
SO. Place the largest cake on the plate/board you want to make your cake on.
Brush some of the coffee mix over the top of the cake.
Fill the piping bag, and pipe a circle, on the top, around the outside of the cake, leaving about 1cm from the edge. Fill the middle in with icing.

Icing the middle - I would leave a 1cm gap between icing/edge of cake (

Place the next cake UPSIDE DOWN ontop.
Brush some coffee mix over the top of the cake.
Again, pipe your circle and then fill in - making a level surface.
Place final cake UPSIDE DOWN ontop (this gives you a flat top to work with)
Pipe icing all over the top, and around the sides of the cake.
Use a palette knife, or flat blade, to smooth top layer.
Smooth sides of the cake.

Smoothing the sides (

If your icing is a bit patchy (coz you ran out, like me), or rough, you can get some flaked chocolate and stick it to the side of the cake.
To do this, pick the cake/plate up with your left hand. Cup some flaked chocolate in your hand and pat it on the cake, moving your hand around the cake.
Wipe excess chocolate flakes off the plate.
Dust the top of the cake with cocoa.
Place cake in the fridge and let it set for about 1 hour. But pull it out before you serve it so that it is at room temperature.

This took around 3 hours for me to do start to finish. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LOTS OF TIME!
Use cold chocolate flakes to reduce risk of melting in your hands.
If you don't have a piping bag, use a large ziplock bag with a ~3cm corner cut out.
If this is your first time icing a layer cake - unless you have seen someone do it before or can find pictures I really REALLY suggest making one big cake and just icing that - use a 25cm tin. The cake will take longer to cook.
Add chocolate flakes between each layer - just for fun.