Hi all– Our mom got the family together this weekend to celebrate a couple birthdays– my brother Mark and sis Lulu. Mexican dinner, cake & presents in the back yard a laugh-inducing night of looking at old family slides– the crazy hair-dos, the old boyfriends… It was a marvelous, memorable summer evening all together.
And we birthday-ed with a rich super moist cake (thanks to all that coffee flavored syrup drenching the baked cake). Add the deep chocolate ganache and crunchy almonds. It serves well as a celebration cake!
MOCHA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
1 chocolate cake mix
3 oz. box of chocolate instant pudding mix
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 cup mini chocolate chips*
2 tab. butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup strong coffee
2 tab. butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. chocolate (1 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cake mix, instant pudding mix, chocolate syrup, eggs, water, oil and 1/2 cup Kahlua. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into a tube pan or bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put it into a 325 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until a thin knife inserted comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking make up the syrup. In a sauce pan combine the butter, sugar and 1/3 cup Kahlua. Bring them to a simmer and simmer on low heat for a minute until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the 1/2 cup coffee.
When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it in the pan to cool. Poke holes in the top of the warm cake with a fork. Then evenly pour the syrup over the cake and let it soak in. Leave the cake in th pan until it cools completely.
Invert the cooled cake onto a plate and make the ganache. In a saucepan, bring the 2 tab. butter and the 1/2 cup whipping cream to a slow simmer. Turn off the heat and immediately pour in the chocolate chips. Beat the mixture until the chocolate is melted. And then continue to beat it 3 or 4 minutes more to bring out the shine in the chocolate.
To candy the almonds, heat the sugar and sliced almonds over medium heat in a small pan. Keep stirring for several minutes until the sugar melts and turns to caramel to coat the almonds –be careful– if the heat’s too hot it can burn! Then turn the nuts out onto a sheet of foil on the counter and separate them with a wooden spoon to cool.
Drizzle the ganache over the cake and sprinkle the almonds over the top. Viola!
*Mini chocolate chips won’t sink to the bottom of the cake pan a clump like standard chocolate chips can do.
Happy Birthday Mark & Lulu!!