Decadent Cappuccino Cake

  • Yield 12 servings

This cake is so worth the effort. Garnish with chocolate leaves and chocolate-covered espresso beans for a beautiful presentation.

Ingredients

Nut Crust:
5 graham crackers
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache:
2 cups heavy cream
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Cappuccino Buttercream:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
8 egg yolks, or equivalent egg substitute
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon hot water
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
Cappuccino Whipped Cream
2 teaspoons coffee granules
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. For the crust: Process the graham crackers, almonds and pecans in a food processor until crumbly. Add the sugar, butter and salt and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom of a buttered 10-inch springform pan with a 3-inch side. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For the ganache: Bring the cream just to a boil in a saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Add the chocolate. Cook until the chocolate melts, stirring to blend well. Stir in the corn syrup. Add the butter gradually, stirring to blend well after each addition. Cool to room temperature. Pour into the prepared crust. Chill, covered, for 2 hours or longer.
  3. For the buttercream: Mix the sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 to 2 minutes or to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  4. Beat the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar syrup gradually, beating constantly at medium speed. Place in the freezer until cool.
  5. Dissolve the coffee granules in the hot water. Stir into the egg yolk mixture. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir to mix well. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy. Spread over the ganache.
  6. Chill, covered, until firm. Place on a serving plate and remove the side of the pan.
  7. For the cappuccino whipped cream: Dissolve 2 teaspoons coffee granules in 1 tablespoon whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl. Beat 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream in a mixing bowl until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the coffee mixture and 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the buttercream layer and garnish with chocolate leaves or curls and chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Recipe reprinted with permission from the Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, First Impressions, Dining with Distinction (The Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, Inc., 2001).

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