Um, what is rich chocolate with coffee undertones, and a whipped cream frosting tinged with Bailey’s Irish Cream? Well, it’s obviously the cake I baked this weekend, which I’ve entitled “Irish Mocha Cake”. It’s a chocolate cake dripping in coffee and accented with tablespoon upon tablespoon of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
The original recipe was for a tiramisu cake, but that called for Kahula and times are tough; this girl wasn’t going to pony up for some fancy liqueur! Because I am nothing but a novice lush, we had Bailey’s in the fridge (score!) and I decided to take full advantage. Bailey’s plus chocolate plus heavy whipping cream plus mascarpone cheese? That’s what I call indulgence. And two extra pounds.
Now, I never purported to be a good froster. I am the worst froster, in fact, but the cake still came out relatively presentation worthy, which is a good thing because I was taking this to a dinner and you simply cannot take a mess of a cake to a dinner party. Well, you probably can, but Kathryn doesn’t do that.
The original recipe calls for two cups of heavy whipping cream (high carumba!) but I ended up using about half that and eating the rest of it with my spatula when I was done. (Wait, what’s this you say about counting calories??? Yeah, I don’t do that.) I also doubled the liqueur (goes without saying) and the coffee in the recipe because more is more, right? I also switched out the white cake mix for a chocolate, because coffee and chocolate are magic together. Oh, and the original recipe uses three cake pans; who has three cake pans?! I used two 8” and cut one of the layers in half because I’m fancy like that. And what’s more, the original recipe didn’t ask you to “coffee-fy” all the layers of cake. That is doing this cake wrong and I wouldn’t put up with it.
Anywho, the result is a super-moist cake that hits its peak the next day (not that I came downstairs at midnight to finagle a piece, no, not me). Oh, and it uses a boxed cake mix, which I’m all about (I bought a dark chocolate variety because, apparently, even boxed cake mixes can be sophisticated). If you’re fancy, garnish with dusted cocoa.
Irish Mocha Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/2 cup coffee
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese (Trader Joe’s has it reasonably priced.)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
1 ½ cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 8 inch cake pans.
2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and add instant coffee. Divide batter between 2 pans.
3. Bake in the preheated oven according to package directions. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 2 tablespoons of Bailey’s; set aside.
4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons Bailey’s; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
6. To assemble the cake: Cut both (I only did one because I’m lazy) cakes in half, creating four thin layers. Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a chopstick, poke holes all over like a crazy person. Pour 1/4 of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with 1/3 of the filling mixture atop. Repeat for the remaining layers. Cover cake with frosting. Garnish as you see fit and refrigerate for at least a good hour (or overnight) prior to serving. Keep refrigerated.
The definition of a friend: they humor you and try so, so hard to act candid, yet fail so, so miserably. (Check out that expression on Brian, far right!)