Extra Dark Chocolate Cake with Speculoos Buttercream

Extra Dark Chocolate Cake with Speculoos Buttercream

Serves 12

Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:

9 1/4 ounces (~2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) good quality unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (3/4 cup / 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
13 1/4 ounces (~1 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 yolk or 2 x-large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups brewed coffee

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour 2 8 or 9-inch round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside
In the large bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla and beat one minute at medium speed
Reduce speed of mixer to low and add 1/3 of the dry ingredients; add 1/2 of coffee and repeat
Add remainder of dry ingredients and turn off mixer; make sure not to overbeat; if there are any lumps fold them in with a spatula
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cakes
Set cake layers aside to cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove each layer from pans; run a knife around the edge of each layer for easier removal; set aside to finish cooling and make buttercream
When buttercream is ready, put a spoonful on center of cake plate (this will help hold cake in place)
Place one layer down and if rounded, use a serrated knife to cut off very top of cake; frost that layer and top with second cake layer; frost with remaining buttercream

Speculoos Spread Buttercream:

Ingredients:

2 5/8 ounces (~1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) egg whites
1 1/8 ounces (~3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
Additional 5 1/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1 1/2 ounces (~3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) water
8 ounces (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 3/8 ounces (~3/4 cup) Speculoos Spread

Directions:

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, whisk, spatula and candy thermometer with a paper towel and vinegar to clean (if any grease is on these items your meringue will not work)
Place egg whites in large bowl with whisk attachment and mix on medium speed; gradually add the 1 1/8 ounces sugar; keep mixer on
In a medium heavy duty saucepan, combine water and remaining 5 1/4 ounces of sugar over medium-high heat and whisk together; whisk occasionally until temperature of syrup reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit
Meanwhile, egg whites should begin to form loose peaks; if this happens before syrup is hot enough, reduce mixer speed to low
Once syrup is hot enough, reduce mixer speed to medium-low and slowly and slowly add syrup to the mixer
Increase speed to medium-high and keep mixer on for 10-15 minutes or until it holds stiff peaks AND bowl has cooled to room temperature
Reduce the speed to medium and add softened butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until fully combined; mixture should be smooth and creamy
If there are any lumps, increase speed to high until frosting becomes smooth
Add Speculoos Spread and combine on medium speed until well incorporated and buttercream is light and creamy
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator and beat with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer before using


Notes:
Keep cake in a cool dry place (best kept refrigerated during summer)
Best served within 3 days of baking