This cake is delicious on its own but irresistible when served with a generous dollop of espresso-infused whipped cream. Kahlua-flavored sugar syrup brushed over the warm cake gives it a thin crispy sugary crust. I like to warm a slice before serving by microwaving it for 8 to 12 seconds when the chocolate remelts and cake becomes so rich and moist. Then I top the slice with cold cream.
The cake can be baked several days ahead and kept tightly covered.
The recipe belongs to Lisa Slater. I made a few adjustments.
Makes one Bundt cake, about 12 servings
For the cake:
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, divided as: 1 stick-softened, another one-melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tbsp finely ground espresso beans
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly prepared espresso coffee, cooled
- 1 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Kahlua liqueur
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
For the espresso-flavored cream:
- 2 tsp hot water
- ½ tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 cup cold whipping cream
- 2 tbsp confectioner’ sugar, sifted
Make the cake:
Generously butter a 10-cup bundt pan. Dust with flour. Set aside.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 F.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and ground espresso beans. Pour the ½ cup of melted and still warm butter over the cocoa-coffee mixture to hydrate it. Mix into a smooth paste. Set aside.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat another ½ cup of softened butter until light. Gradually add both sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Add the cocoa mixture, mix well to combine.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the coffee in two additions. Mix just until combine, don’t overmix. It’s better to finish the mixing by hand using a rubber spatula. When the batter is smooth, add the chopped chocolate.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and unmold the cake.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the water and sugar. Stir over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in Kahlua. Set the cooling rack with the cake on it over a sheet of parchment paper or foil. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze.
Let the cake cool completely before covering it for storing. Store at room temperature.
If you want, dust the cake very lightly with the confectioners’ sugar right before serving.
Make the espresso whipped cream:
In a medium bowl, stir together the espresso powder and water until the espresso powder is dissolved. Pour in the cream, add the sugar, and beat with an electrical mixer until soft peaks form; do not overbeat.