Saturday, May 7, 2011

VLOG: a simply complex mocha buttercream

There is a cake back home that I like.  It's a chocolate cake with a mocha buttercream frosting. The sides of the cake are coated with chocolate cookie crumbs.  The last time I purchased this cake, I recall peeling off the nutrition label listing the ingredients in hopes of one day recreating this cake on my own.  But when a cake is being mass produced, the ingredients aren't necessarily the greatest (i.e. shortening vs. butter).  However, this recipe is simply superb.  It's made with quality ingredients and you can tell after one bite.  This is an Italian meringue buttercream, which means it uses eggs cooked in a hot syrup and is combined with butter.  (Yeah, not so simple as my simple buttercream vlog!)  It is mocha flavored from the addition of chocolate and coffee!  And I'll share my favorite chocolate cake recipe on this blog one day as well, but any of your favorite chocolate cake recipes will do for now.  Remember, the cake is the vehicle and not the star of the show.

UPDATE: Upon further research, I have to add a few notes.  First of all, this is not an Italian Meringue Buttercream, but rather a combination of an Italian meringue AND a French Mousseline Buttercream.  An Italian meringue requires the use of solely egg whites that are whipped and cooked with a hot sugar syrup.  A French mousseline uses only egg yolks that are whipped and cooked with a hot sugar syrup.  And little did I know, a French mousseline buttercream is considered the most difficult type of buttercream to master.  I suppose if I knew that before it may have been more intimidating and possibly a more formidable challenge.  But I still stand by my previous assertions that this mocha buttercream can be prepared by any amateur baker (myself included).  My vlog and step-by-step instructions make it that much easier.  If any readers of this blog attempts this recipe, please let me know how it turns out!

Crazy Delicious Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Recipe adapted from The Essential Baker by Carole Bloom
Ingredients for more than enough to frost a three-layer 8-inch cake
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 oz bittersweet and dark chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tbsp boiling water

1) Place the candy thermometer in a small sauce pan.  Bring the water, cream of tartar, and 1 1/4 cups of sugar to a boil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 242F.  This will take several minutes.  In the meantime, place the eggs, yolks, and 1/4 cup sugar in a mixer and whip until the volume has quadrupled.  
2) Once the sugar is ready, transfer to a heated cup with a spout.  Gradually pour this sugar syrup into the mixer while it is in motion on slow.  Allow the egg and sugar mixture to beat on medium-high speed until cooled, approximately eight minutes.
3) Add the butter 2 tbsp at a time.  It may appear curdled, but continue mixing and it will smooth out.  Stop the mixer when it is smooth and silky.
4) Dissolve the coffee powder in the water.  Add to melted chocolate while everything is still hot.  If you fail to do so while everything is at the same temperature, the addition of hot coffee to cooled chocolate will result in seizing, making it unusable.
5) Add the mocha mixture (that has been cooled) to the buttercream.  Now it is ready for use to ice the cake.  


  1. LooOks soOoo goOOoOd... droOoOling...

    Also, like the new blog title!

  2. Oh my god! MY FAVORITE!! Looks so good! I might have to borrow my coworker's beater/thermometer to make this one myself!

  3. @Cece & Chris: Come visit for my bday and I'll make it for you!!

  4. Oooo this sounds interesting and like no other frosting I've ever seen. Sounds delicious!

  5. Man this looks delicious! I want to try this! i have never seen it made this way, all of them are just veg. short. and butter mixed with powder sugar, Thank you so much!! It looks delicious!

  6. @Anonymous: Please do try it because it has to be one of the most amazing buttercreams I have ever tasted! :)

  7. I've been looking for a perfect mocha frosting when I happened to stumble on your blog. Thanks for sharing. I'll let you know the result.

  8. i have tried this recipe recipe and i realy2 love it. thanks for sharing!


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