Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake

Makes 8-10 slices

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 300ml espresso coffee
  • 100g pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, broken into squares
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs

For the Icing

  • 560g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar, sieved
  • 50ml espresso coffee

To decorate

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 25g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the espresso coffee in the Kitchenaid Cold Brew Coffee Maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. This needs to be started at least 12 hours before making the cake, or overnight. We suggest using a full packet of espresso ground coffee as the concentrate can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and used for drinks and other recipes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease a tin with softened butter or Cake Release. We recommend our 18cm Loose-Based Round Deep Cake Tin.
  3. In a small saucepan, simmer the espresso and dates on a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place the chocolate into a glass bowl set over a pan of warm water and heat very gently for 3-4 minutes or until the chocolate has melted, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  5. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour then add the melted chocolate and dates and stir well to combine.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
  7. To make the icing, place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand mixer for 1 minute or until the icing is smooth and creamy.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, cut it horizontally into 3 layers. Sandwich each layer together with icing and spread the remainder over the top and sides of the cake using a palette knife to give a smooth finish.
  9. To decorate, make chocolate curls with a wide vegetable peeler or coarse grater. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder, then sprinkle with chocolate curls.

Tip: the cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If using a different coffee maker, let the espresso cool after brewing.