I’ve spent a good deal of time pre-thinking and post-thinking about this cake. I made the cake layers months ago and stuck them in the freezer. I couldn’t decide what kind of frosting to use on them, and I couldn’t decide if it was wise to use a Baking Saturday to get them all dressed up and then have nowhere to go but my stomach.
Eventually, I just decided to bite the bullet and eat lots of cake. I was worried that the layers would get frostbite if I left them any longer. Heaven knows, we wouldn’t want that.
For the frosting, I combined two different types of frosting. About 1/3 was a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. This type of frosting is super silky, but almost too buttery, so I paired it with an instant fudge fake buttercream for the chocolate factor. Which was glorious. I had some raspberry jam on hand also. Can’t hurt. Also, espresso can’t hurt. I chucked some of that in the frosting as well. Both the raspberry and the espresso could have been stronger. Next time.
Like I said before, I was so obsessed with how pretty this cake turned out. And how well it sliced! Pipe dream fulfilled. The cake itself was average compared to my usual favorite vanilla cake, so I won’t endorse it too highly. Let’s just say it was a perfectly adequate vehicle for the luscious frosting.
Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake
For the yellow cake, you can find the recipe at smittenkitchen.
For the first frosting (the swiss meringue one):
2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon strong coffee or espresso
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips melted and cooled slightly
Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. Don’t get any water in the bowl, now.
Add the vanilla and espresso.
Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip it ’til it looks like frosting and not a curdled mess. Set aside.
For the second frosting (the instant fudge one):
8 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk, half and half or heavy cream
Whip the butter on high speed for about 3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add 1/3 of the sugar mixture to the butter, mixing on slow speed until combined. Add one tablespoon milk. Continue adding the sugar and the milk on low speed until everything is combined, then whip on high speed for about 4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Set aside about 1/3 of the second frosting for piping. Add half of the first frosting to the stand mixer bowl, stirring the two frostings together on low speed until just combined. Add the second half of the frosting and mix until just combined.
To assemble the cake, top the first layer with about 1 cup of the frosting. Pop maybe 1/3 cup raspberry preserves in the micro for about 10 seconds, then spread on top of the frosting. Add the second cake layer, and frost the cake with the rest of the frosting. Decorate with the reserved fudge frosting as desired, topping with chocolate covered espresso beans.