Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Recipe: Strawberry Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Yup, you read it right: two layers of moist and rich mocha cake sandwiching a middle layer of luscious chocolate cheesecake, finished off with sweet cream buttercream and strawberries.

It's decadent and oh-so-sinful while not being cloyingly sweet (in fact, it's Asian-mother approved). For this particular cake, I decided to frost with a very basic swiss meringue buttercream colored in varying shades of pink for an ombre effect and a bit of edge piping with a large star tip.

Because of the various parts involved, this cake does take some time to assemble and is probably a 4-5 time commitment, not including the cooling and refrigerating time. However, the individual parts are actually extremely easy to execute recipes and part of my go-to collection.

The cake base is a one-bowl oil based recipe that takes no more than 15 minutes to mix together and is rich and moist every single time. While swiss meringue buttercream takes a bit more effort than traditional American buttercream, I find the results much worth it. Swiss meringue buttercream is rich, subtle, smooth, and buttery where American buttercream is loud and overly sweet: one taste and you'll definitely be a convert. After learning how to make a good batch of SMBC, I have never gone back to American buttercream again. As for the cheesecake, it's no more than mixing all the ingredients together and baking low and slow in a water bath to maintain the custardy texture. I would recommend making the cheesecake at least a day in advance and keeping it in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake Cake 
Makes a three layer, 9 inch cake
Printable recipe

For the mocha cake:
*Cake adapted from Sweetapolita

  • 260 g all-purpose flour 
  • 350 g granulated sugar 
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 10 g baking soda 
  • 5 g baking powder 
  • 9 g salt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup black coffee 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 packet instant coffee granules
For the chocolate cheesecake:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 4.8 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups sour cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Swiss meringue buttercream:
  • 120 g egg whites
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the mocha cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and prepare two 9 inch cake pans
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in all the dry ingredients (except for the coffee granules) and mix on a slow speed to sift and combine
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all the rest of the ingredients until the coffee granules are dissolved.
  4. With the mixer still on slow, add the wet ingredients in slowly and increase the speed to medium when all is added. Mix until just combine, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before using.
For the chocolate cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF and prepare a 9 inch springform pan. Begin bringing a pot of water to a boil for the water bath.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the cream cheese on medium-high until creamy before adding in the sugar. When the mixture becomes fluffy, add in the melted chocolate. Mix until combined before adding in the sour cream, starch, and salt. When all ingredients are combined, turn the mixer down to medium and add in egg yolks and mix until combine.
  3. Pour batter into the springform pan and cover the outside of the pan with a layer of aluminum foil to prevent the water bath from seeping in. Bake in the water bath for about an hour and 15 minutes. The cake should still be slightly jiggly when done. Let cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
For the buttercream:
  1. Whisk sugar and egg whites over a double boiler until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 140ºF.
  2. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks.
  3. Replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment and add in butter one tablespoon at a time with the mixer on medium speed. When all the butter is incorporated, add in salt and then continue mixing for 2-3 minutes.
For assembly:
  1. Place one layer of the mocha cake down on a cake round. Top with the middle cheesecake layer and then the second layer of mocha cake. Trim all the sides and top for an even finish.
  2. Spread on a thin layer of buttercream as a crumb layer before popping into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. This will help the crumbs stick to the cake.
  3. Finish frosting the rest of the cake with a second layer of buttercream. When ready to serve, make the the cake has come to room temperature.