when you have lovely company you are not supposed to sit in the corner and blog. you are supposed to jump in the ocean and eat delicious meals and go to las vegas and pretend that you are on vacation as well.
but oh, i've missed you blog! so much that i made a cake for absolutely no reason at all. just to have a cake. i don't know anyone who has a birthday today, but i'd like to. so if it's your birthday then here's to you. i'd like to plate you up a fat slice of this cake and make you wear a sombrero.
for the rest of you non-birthdayers. come on, do you really need an excuse to eat a cake?
layers = my favorite chocolate cake. rich and moist for days
innards = chai cream cheese filling
outer = orange whipped cream
i made it mini. you can make it maxi. imagine dipping those chocolate orange slices into a chai latte. and keep thinking about that further and realize that that probably wouldn't be that great at all but this cake totally is and i want you to have it.
Chocolate Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Filling
and Orange Whipped Cream
barely adapted from gourmet's double chocolate cake
3 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
Chai Cream Cheese Filling
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
Orange Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of two oranges
for the cake:
preheat oven to 300. grease pans (2 10-inch round pans or 3 8-inch round pans) and line bottoms with parchment rounds. finely chop chocolate and combine in a bowl with hot coffee. let the mix stand, stir occasionally until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
in a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. in a large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until slightly thickened and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, almond, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. add dry mixture and beat until just combined well. divide batter between pans and bake in the middle of the oven until a tested comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
cool layers in pans on racks. run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert.
for the filling:
beat cream cheese and butter together in an electric mixer until fluffy. beat in sugar, vanilla, and chai spices
for the whipped cream:
beat the cream with the whisk attachment in an electric mixer. after a minute or two add in sugar, vanilla, and zest. beat until stiff peaks form.
place first layer on cake plate. dollop as much or little chai filling onto the layer and spread just until the edges. i like to stick it in the fridge and let each layer firm up as you build the cake. next layer of cake and filling. fridge. last layer of cake. then crumb coat the outside of the cake with the whipped cream scraping the sides to get all of the crumbs suspended in the cream. refrigerate for 15 minutes and then frost the outside with the remaining whipped cream. decorate and admire what you've created.