Friday, August 28, 2009

Twelve Layer Mocha Cake

It has somehow become a tradition for my roommates and I to bake each others' birthday cakes as a surprise. When one of our birthdays came close, we would sneak some of the measuring cups, measuring spoons and ingredients out over to someone else's kitchen (usually the boyfriend's) and bake the cake discreetly. Last year, Sandy and I managed to bake Erin's cake in our kitchen while Erin was not around. When the time that Erin was supposed to be home came close, I ended up icing the cake in my bedroom on my desk because I was so worried that she would bust in before the cake was done. For my birthday last year, Sandy and Erin made a beautiful tres leches cake and they apparently almost set Rick's place on fire trying to work the blow torch to carmelize the meringue on the outside.
Good times.

This year, Sandy and I decided to not go through the trouble of being homeless bakers but just to ban Erin from peaking into the kitchen and the fridge while we are making "something special" for her birthday. She knew it was coming anyways -- not a surprise anymore!

Sandy and I decided to take on a challenging cake -- twelve layer mocha cake. TWELVE layers! We spread the whole process over onto three days. First two days for baking the different layers and the last day for making the cream layers and finally the assembly.

The layers go like this starting from the bottom:
  • fluffy cocoa cake generously brushed with hazelnut and kahlua syrup
  • sweet mocha buttercream
  • hazelnut meringue layer that was baked till crisp
  • light coffee buttercream
  • dark chocolate souffle layer that has the texture of an airy souffle and the richness of a flourless chocolate cake
  • more mocha buttercream goodness
... and then repeat these six layers.

Lastly, the cake was topped with unsweetened whipped cream flavored with coffee and sprinkling of cocoa powder. And then the homemade ladyfingers were added to surround the cake to keep the different layers a pleasant surprise when the cake was cut into.

The cake turned out beautifully and was devoured by everyone! The different layers provided flavors that all melded together and varying textures that added an interesting dimension -- especially the crunchy meringue layer with bits of toasted hazelnut in between creamy buttercream layers.

Welcome to the quarter century club Erin! <3 br="">More birthdays coming up and the cake tradition continues...


  1. thank you and sandy for the cake!! it was really well designed and of course super delicious. just reading about it again makes me want a slice... :)

  2. nice work with the lady fingers and design. it's always fun baking with you girls! =)

  3. omg i want to eat the whole thing