I'm of the opinion that simple is almost always best. This is true in every aspect of my life, but where it especially rings true is with food. I don't need fancy meals or outrageous desserts, all I ever want is high quality ingredients put together in such a way as truly make something magical. It's amazing what you can do with only a few things, as long as these ingredients are high in flavor and pair well together.
This chocolate cake is an example of such simple pleasures. The recipe may not look like anything special, but it's put together perfectly to result in a simple yet satisfying chocolate cake. It's a very light cake, but full of flavor and the perfect afternoon snack or simple dessert, exactly what I love.
There's no actual chocolate, and very little cocoa, in this cake, so I didn't feel as though I could call it a chocolate cake. However, add a little espresso powder and you've got yourself a delightful mocha cake. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, or topped with some macerated berries, it's a wonderful little cake.
Simple Mocha Cake
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 125 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
- 60 grams butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, separated
- 70 grams (1/2 cup) flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the first 3 ingredients (the cocoa powder, sugar, milk and espresso powder) into a small pot and bring it to the boil and allow to cool.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg yolks one at a time ensuring they are well mixed before the next addition, then add the vanilla. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and beat until well combined and lightened in color.
Add the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk, beating until just combined after each addition.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the cake by hand. Transfer batter to an 8-inch greased cake pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until springy to the touch. Allow to cool and then remove from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.