I've been wanting to make a "naked" cake for a while now, and I'm so happy with how it turned out! I love that this kind of decorating is "in", since it's so darn easy.
I knew that I wanted super thick icing layers that had a bit of texture, so butter cream was a no go. I wasn't sure if whipped cream would hold up the cake well enough without collapsing on itself....so I decided to try out 7-minute icing instead! It was a total win. It's such a fluffy, light icing, but it stiffens up enough to keep it's shape even with the cake layered on top of it. I find it less overwhelming than super thick buttercream, and was pleased with how it worked with the mocha cake. You can then jazz the cake up with some fresh fruit and flowers, and you're good to go!
Check out those berries! I made this cake a few weeks ago when we still had our own fresh berries, and they kind of stole the show. You can totally use whatever fruit you'd like, or even top the cake with something else instead. Macarons anyone?
yields: 3, 8-inch cakes
1) In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
2) Add in eggs, vanilla, coffee and oil, and mix until batter is smooth.
3) Slowly add in hot water, until well mixed.
4) Divide the cake batter into thirds, and place in three 8-inch pans (or you can always bake them one at a time if you only have one pan). For cakes, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.
*see below for layer cake assembly
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup of espresso (or very strong brewed coffee)
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup hot water
recipe from: Jean Pare
1) Set up a double boiler (ie. one pot sits on the burner with a bit of boiling water, and another pot/metal bowl sits on top of it.) and bring water to a rapid boil.
2) In your top pot/bowl mix together egg whites, sugar, water, and corn syrup until well mixed.
3) Place it over boiling water, and beat constantly on high for 7 minutes, or until the frosting will stand in peaks when the beaters are raised.
4) Remove from heat, and beat in vanilla.
5) Immediately frost your cake, as this frosting will set very quickly.
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Cold Water
1 1/2 tsp Light Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Layer Cake Assembly
1) Once your mocha cakes have completely cooled, use a large serrated knife to cut the top off of each of your three cakes so that you have a flat surface for the icing. *Do this before you make your icing!
2) Place the first layer, crumb side down, onto a cake plate or serving platter, and spread a thick layer of icing over top. Try and make it perfectly level so that your whole cake will sit nicely. You'll need to work fast here since the icing will set quite quickly!
3) Put the next layer on top. Repeat step 2 until all the layers are done.
4) Top with fresh berries, flowers, macarons, or whatever your heart desires!
*This cake is best served the first day, but will keep for several days as long as it is covered.
Also, how in the world is it almost September?! If you have any requests for Fall baking, let me know!