A Little Celebration Cake (or, chocolate cake w. ganache and coffee butter cream)
Confession: I ate a sliver of this cake, despite the copious amounts of butter in it because … well, it’s irresistible. Nearly as irresistible as that chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream frosting (but only nearly – I still dream about that frosting). I made it to celebrate some good work news for my friend; by early afternoon not a scrap was left. As I do more and more wedding cakes, I’ve accumulated more and more cake pans of all sizes (the largest currently being a 12-inch round, though I may have to invest in a 14-incher by fall), and I’m really digging baking cakes in smaller sizes. Here, I baked my favorite chocolate cake recipe in two 7-inch layers, splitting the batter equally between each pan. I assembled this cake using one of the layers – you can cut it in half, as I did here, or in thirds, as I’ve done on other occasions – and wrapped the other well in plastic wrap and foil and stuck in the freezer for another time. I love these smaller cakes not only because they make for easier transport into the office via the bus, but also because they are, well, OK, I’ll say it: cute. And cute is fun. The coffee buttercream, too.
Makes 10 small servings.
For the frosting
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3-5 tbsp coffee (not hot)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high-speed until light and fluffy. Add 3 tablespoons of coffee and the vanilla extract and beat well. Slowly add the sugar, scraping down the bowl. Beat in a little more coffee if it is too dry. Keep beating until frosting reaches your desired consistency.
To assemble, carefully cut the cake in half (note: let sit in fridge for at least an hour to firm up the crumb, making for easier slicing) and spread a thin layer of the buttercream across the top layer. Spread the ganache thickly on the other layer, then top with the second layer, buttercream-side down. Using the rest of the frosting, cover the cake completely.