Yosemit3's CAPPUCCINO CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE


Cups of steaming cappuccino inspired this chocolate cake accented with cinnamon and coffee. It's a perfect dessert for any birthday celebration. The velvety cake is easily cut into layers, each of which will hold a generous quantity of frosting.

Coffee syrup:
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Cake:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fudge Frosting
For coffee syrup:

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar and coffee dissolve. Let cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill.)

For cake:

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper; butter paper. Dust with flour. Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted. Remove from over water.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into medium bowl. Stir coffee powder into milk in another medium bowl until dissolved. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter between pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. Peel off paper.

Cut each cake horizontally in half. Using bottom of tart pan as aid, transfer 1 cake layer, cut side up, to platter. Brush cake layer with 2 tablespoons syrup. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over cake layer. Repeat layering 2 times, using 1 cake layer, 2 tablespoons syrup and 3/4 cup frosting for each layer. Top with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting over cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Makes 12 servings.

Bon Appétit
February 1998

FUDGE FROSTING

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup half and half
4 teaspoons instant coffee powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine butter, 3/4 cup sugar, half and half and coffee powder in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar and coffee powder dissolve and mixture simmers. Remove from heat. Add both chocolates; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture into large bowl. Sift in powdered sugar and cinnamon; whisk to blend. Press plastic onto surface of frosting. Chill just until firm enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.

Makes 4 cups.

Bon Appétit
February 1998

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