This chocolate devil’s food cake with espresso swiss meringue buttercream is probably one of my best. Not only the decoration, which I admit looks professional and elegant. But the taste is OH-MY-GODLY flavourful. The espresso buttercream is a total to-die-for. I was licking everywhere when frosting the cake.
A peek inside the cake would make you understand why this has to be a 5-layer cake. Tall cake with chic design means PRETTY. But I apologize for missing that picture! How about another picture of this same cake in a petite form!
Ingredients (8-inch 5-layer cake):
Chocolate Devil’s Food Layer Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup strong espresso, cooled (I mixed 3 tablespoons of espresso powder with 1/4 cup hot water)
1 cup sliced almond
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease five 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Divide the batter (about 1 cup) and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the cakes (in the pans) on a wire rack to cool. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the buttercream, put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use an electric hand mixer to beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.
With whisk attachment, continue whipping the mixture in a standing mixer until thick, glossy, and cool.
Switch over to paddle attachment. While mixing on medium speed, continuously add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add vanilla and salt, mix well.
Right before frosting the cake, add the espresso in the buttercream and beat for another 10 seconds. Reserve 1 cup of buttercream for piping on top.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 of the buttercream. Repeat this process until all cake layers are placed. Smear buttercream on top and sides of the cake. Garnish with the sliced almond.
Using a large star tip to pipe a decorative border on the top edge of the cake.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.