Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

I love to bake cakes, especially chocolate ones. 

I've been baking chocolate cakes from scratch for years, all the while I've experimented with ingredients and methods from different recipes I've come across.  Based on all that practice and depending on the flavor I'm trying to achieve, I'll vary ingredients like brown sugar or the amount or type of cocoa powder.  But, one of my favorite additions to any chocolate cake is hot, fresh-brewed coffee.  I think it adds a deeper flavor and a little extra complexity to a rich, sweet treat. 

I make this version of chocolate cake pretty often and it's one of my favorite dessert treats to feed to dinner guests when they come around.  The coffee flavor is barely detectable in the cake recipe, but you'll definitely be able to smell and taste coffee in the Mocha Frosting.  I think it's some of the best cake ever, but as usual I may be biased.

Chocolate-N-Coffee Cake
  • 1 3/4 cup flour 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Mocha Frosting 

  • 3tbsp hot coffee
  • 4 tbsp butter or margarine 
  • 3 tbsp cocoa 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla  

1.  Heat oven to 350 °F.  Spray two 8 x 2 in. round pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Dust with flour.

2.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and mix using a handheld mixer until  well-combined. 

 4.  Next, stir in the hot coffee and boiling water (batter will be really thin).

5.  Evenly pour the batter into prepared baking pans.  Bake cakes for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.  Allow cakes to cool completely.

6.  After the cakes are cooled begin making the Mocha Frosting.  Whisk all ingredients together until fully incorporated and a smooth chocolate-y, glaze-like frosting is created. 

7.  Place first round cake onto a plate (or wherever it is gonna stay because you're about to frost this baby).  Apply a thin layer of frosting to the top of the first cake.

8.  Next, top the frosted round cake with the second cake.  Now, hurry and frost the whole cake! With this frosting you have to move a little quickly as the frosting, like a glaze, will begin to firm up.

Finished product should look something like this.

Now, this is the most important part...
This cake is extra good accompanied with a glass of cold milk.


Cheddar Cheese-Veggie Soup

It's just my little opinion, but if you are in the mood for comfort food a cup of hot, creamy cheese soup is about as good as it gets.  When I was living in San Antonio, Texas I came to love the version of Canadian Cheese Soup that is served up each and everyday at a locally owned chain of diners called Jim's Restaurant.  I ate a cup of that soup often and I tried, but I was never able to pry the entire recipe out of the any member of the kitchen staff.         

For weeks now, I've been craving a cup of that luscious, cheesy soup and I have yet to find a suitable replacement in any restaurant here locally in Corpus Christi.  So in an effort to end my cheesy craving I decided to try to make it myself.   

This recipe is what I came up with and it definitely made me miss the other soup a bit less.  I'll be making it again.  Let me know if you give it a try. 
     Cheddar Cheese-Veggie Soup
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional for topping) 

1. In a heated Dutch oven, melt butter and add all diced vegetables.  Saute in the butter for about 6 minutes or until tender.

2. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir well.

3.  Pour in chicken broth, one cup at a time and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; and simmer for about 10 -15 minutes.  Broth should thicken up as the mixture is heated.

4.  Remove soup from heat and stir in milk and cheeses.  Stir until cheeses are melted.  Soup will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.

5.  Top with with crumbled bacon just before serving.

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