I really believe that you should make the most of your birthday. Whether you’re 1 or 101, it should be a real celebration. I no longer do these one day birthdays, I need to eek it out for as long as possible. Preferably spanning a week; book a holiday, plan meals, research the birthday cake you’re going to bake for yourself months in advance…
It’s a day to eat whatever the hell you want, wear whatever the hell you want and say whatever you want because its your birthday.
Besides, you’ll only turn 22 once. This day only comes once a year so why not milk it for all its worth? You’ve waited 365 days for this.
I hope you’ve caught on by now and have realised, it was MY birthday. My celebrations consisted of a takeaway in my pyjamas, a massage, meals, a trip to the cinema and a four-day adventure to Iceland (more about that soon.)
It was only a week ago and I miss this cake already. I miss Iceland already. I spent a really long time debating what kind of route I wanted to take. I was torn between a simple apple cake or a really indulgent five layered chocolate cake. After what felt like days and days on Pinterest, I finally settled on this Mocha inspired number.
By putting chocolate chunks into a coffee sponge, I didn’t need to decide between a chocolate sponge or a vanilla one. I got the best of both worlds. A mascarpone icing is a great alternative to butter icing as it keeps the sweetness down. Layering the sponge with rich, silky, chocolate ganache was a no brainer and just needed to happen.
A voila! A twenty-two year old coffee addicts dream birthday cake.
Ingredients – makes one 6 inch cake
Coffee Chocolate Chip Sponge
- 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 280g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
- 3 tbsp. milk
- 4 tsp. finely ground coffee
- 120g dark chocolate, fairly large chunks
- 200g dark chocolate
- 300ml double cream
Coffee Mascarpone Icing
- 500g mascarpone
- 1 tbsp. finely ground coffee
- 1 tbsp. hot water
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar (add more to taste if needed)
Coffee Chocolate Chip Sponge:
- Preheat your oven to 160ºC and grease and line two 6 inch cake tins with butter/grease spray and baking paper.
- Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs, one at a time, whilst beating. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add these into the creamed mix until fully incorporated.
- Warm the 3 tbsp. of milk slightly and dissolve the finely ground coffee into it. Add this into the cake mixture and incorporate. Finally, fold through the roughly chopped chocolate chunks. Divide the cake mixture between two tins** and level. Bake the cakes for approx. 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10-15 minutes, take out of the tins and leave to cool completely.
- Trim the cakes once cooled into your desired layers so that they’re flat and even.
- ** If you’d like to achieve a three-layered cake as pictured (and you only have two cake tins and not three), just weigh out the mixture and place two-thirds into one tin and one-third into the other. The larger cake will need longer baking. Once baked, trim the sponges and cut the larger cake into two layers and keep the smaller cake as one layer. Voila! Three layers!
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- Melt your dark chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave.
- Place your double cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to the boil.
- Gradually pour the hot cream over the melted chocolate, one-third at a time. Incorporating well with a whisk with eat addition.
- Once all of the cream is added, give the ganache a good whisk to emulsify it. Cover the surface with cling film and leave to cool at room temperature.
Coffee Mascarpone Icing:
- Stir the tbsp. of finely ground coffee into the tbsp. of hot water until dissolved. Leave to cool slightly.
- Beat the mascarpone and icing sugar with an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer until fluffy and soft.
- Add in the coffee and beat to distribute the flavour.
- Layer your sponges with the dark chocolate ganache, stacking them on top of each other. Leave some ganache to one side if you’d like do use it to decorate your cake later.
- Cover the outside of your cake with a thin layer of mascarpone icing and place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes.
- Place one last layer of mascarpone icing onto the cake and smooth.
- Finish with decoration of your choice.
- Best eaten the day it’s made/covered. Keep at room temperature as the ganache will become firm in the fridge.