As my dad was growing up, my grandmother didn’t cook much, but when she did, she got it right. She could make a beef stroganoff that would have the czar drooling. She also made my dad’s absolute favorite kind of cake – chocolate with a special mocha frosting that it seemed only my grandmother could get right. Unfortunately, the recipe has been lost to my family for years and we have been spending each of my father’s birthdays trying to recreate the mocha frosting. My father swore that it was in the ‘Joy of Cooking’ cookbook, and I did find a tasty mocha frosting recipe there, but it was not the one that my father grew up with. It’s better!
The frosting that my grandmother used to make was good, I make no bones about that, but it required cooking the frosting over the stove and measuring the temperature with a candy thermometer, and that’s a bit too much fuss for me just for some frosting. This cake is plenty chocolatey, and the frosting turned out as more of a glaze, so it gooed all over the cake in the most delicious manner and kept the cake super moist. I really love glazed cakes because they look so fantastically gooey that I wish I could take a spoon straight to the cake! This cake is so rich, so delicious, so satisfying, that you will feel the need to slide your butt to the front of your seat, lean your head on the back of your chair and rub your belly afterward. Here’s how it’s done:
You start with the cake by sifting together 2 cups of cake flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
In a separate bowl, you whisk together 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt (I used buttermilk), 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Then, in a mixing bowl, you beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter until it gets creamy. Then, you gradually add 1 cup of sugar to the butter on a high speed so that it gets nice and fluffy.
You add two eggs in one at a time, and then the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture, alternating the two so that you add the flour mixture in three parts, and the chocolate in two.
Pour the batter into two prepared cake pans…
and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.
While the cakes are in the oven, you can start on the mocha glaze. You begin by combining 2/3 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup and 1 tablespoon instant coffee in a saucepan and bring that to a simmer.
While it’s still hot, you pour the mixture over 9 oz. of milk chocolate.
And stir it together until it mixes completely.
Then, you pour it over the two cooled cakes, one layer at a time.
I decided to melt some white chocolate and drizzle it across the top for decoration and an added sweetness (as shown above). The frosting ended up very rich, full of dark coffee flavor. For those who don’t like very dark flavors but still want the mocha, add more heavy cream and some white chocolate chips into the frosting so it will be sweeter. This cake will no doubt please any birthday dad and give everyone at the table that satisfied, belly-rubbing feeling.