Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Devil's Food Cake with Coffee Buttercream

Next time you come over to my house for dinner, this is probably what I'll make for dessert. And we'll each have a piece. And then I'll send the rest home with you, because otherwise I'll eat the entire cake and gain 12 pounds. Just so you know.

The cake is super easy. And if it weren't for a little situation named "high altitude", this recipe would have turned out perfect. I know better. I even blogged about it. But, I trusted Alton's temperature reading instructions more than my instincts. Next time I won't try to get the cake to 205 degrees internal temp, I'll just do the toothpick trick. It works every time. And, if I'm ever in a situation again where I need to make a cake a couple of days before serving it and need to refrigerate it, somebody remind me that a soaking with simple syrup or something similar can repair any amount of refrigerator (or freezer) drying out. Not that the cake was a crumby, dry mess or anything, it just wasn't as moist as I know it should be.

The frosting. Okay, I'll admit, I borrowed heavily from the BAKED boys. I love their buttercream and I wanted to do something similar. This is the frosting I developed when I was entering cupcakes in this contest. And it's perfect. I've made it twice. The consistency and flavor have turned out absolutely perfect both times. So here's the recipe:

Coffee Buttercream *click here for printable version*
Frosts 1 2-layer, 9-inch round cake (with some left over)


7 T whole coffee beans (I use good quality espresso roast)
2 c. heavy cream, plus more
2 c. granulated sugar
4 T cornstarch (packed)
2 c. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, just slightly cooler than room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Place whole coffee beans in a coffee grinder and process until you have a coarse grind.

Heat 1-1/2 c. of heavy cream in a small saucepan on the stovetop until just simmering.

Pour coffee grounds into heated cream and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or coffee filter. If you have French press this would be a good use for it. Add enough cream to make a total of 2 c.

Whisk together granulated sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk in coffee-infused cream and place saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, and mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken.

Pour sugar mixture into the bowl of a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed until mixture is cool.

Cut butter into small pieces. With mixer at medium speed, gradually add a few pieces of butter at a time. Mix until it is thoroughly incorporated. Switch speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.

The cake and frosting go together so nicely. The cake is not too sweet, but also not too dark/bitter. It tastes chocolate-y and is light and lovely. The flavor of the frosting doesn't overwhelm the cake at all. The two flavors also don't really blend together, they just GO together.

TGIP Rating--Alton Brown's Devil's Food Cake with my very own Coffee Buttercream--KEEPER. Easy enough to make that it doesn't even have to be a "Special Occasion" cake.

Next up: BAKED Sweet and Salty Brownies. You know you want them.

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