Mocha Majolica

The decoration for this cake was inspired by the majolica porcelain stand on which it's placed. Much simpler than it looks, this is a mocha genoise soaked with coffee syrup and iced lavishly with mocha buttercream.

  • Servings: 12
Mocha Majolica

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February/March 1992

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon instant-espresso granules
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Coffee Syrup
  • Meringue Buttercream
  • Mocha Buttercream

Directions

Assembly

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 6-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with buttered parchment paper and dust with flour.

  2. Sift together flour and cocoa twice. Melt butter. Dissolve espresso in hot water; add with vanilla to butter. Keep warm.

  3. Break eggs into a large bowl and add sugar. Whisk over a pan of simmering water until warm. Remove from heat, and beat on high speed until tripled in bulk.

  4. In three additions, sift flour-cocoa mixture over egg mixture, folding quickly but gently. Scoop a cup of the batter into a small bowl, fold in hot butter mixture, and then fold back into rest of batter. Divide evenly among pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cakes will shrink away from sides of pan when done. Cool in pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

  5. To assemble cake: trim off the tops of two cake layers, leaving the third untrimmed (discard trimmings or save for snacking). Moisten cut sides of trimmed cake layers with coffee syrup. Top one trimmed layer with mocha buttercream. Add second trimmed layer; cover top with mocha buttercream. Top with untrimmed layer. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill until firm.

  1. Using a serrated knife, carve edges of top layer to make a dome shape. Frost cake with meringue buttercream. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill again until firm.

  2. Divide remaining meringue buttercream among five bowls. Tint four with rose, lavender, blue and green food coloring. Leave fifth plain; fill sixth bowl with mocha buttercream. Cover cake with lavender frosting, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill until firm. With a toothpick, trace six large shell shapes around cake. Using a pastry bag fitted with a #1 plain tip, pipe rows of plain, mocha, blue, and rose buttercream inside shells. Pipe a thick scalloped rose line on top of outlines. With a pastry brush, brush downward to blend inside colors. Using a #100 tip, pipe green lines between and over shells, overlapping on top of cake. Using a #70 leaf tip, pipe green and rose leaves on top. With the plain tip, pipe green vines around bottom. Using a #67 tip, pipe on leaves. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  3. Trim off tops of two layers; moisten cut sides with Coffee Syrup.

  4. Top one trimmed layer with Mocha Buttercream.

  5. Add second trimmed layer; cover top with Mocha Buttercream. Add untrimmed layer. Chill until firm.

  6. Using serrated knife, carve edges of top layer to make a dome shape. Frost cake with Meringue Buttercream. Chill again.

  7. Divide remaining Meringue Buttercream among five bowls. Tint four with rose, lavender, blue, and green Ateco paste food coloring. Leave fifth plain; fill sixth bowl with Mocha Buttercream. Cover cake with lavender frosting. Chill. With a toothpick, trace six large shell shapes around cake. Using a #1 plain tip, pipe rows of plain, mocha, blue, and rose frosting inside shells. Pipe a thick scalloped rose line on top of outlines. With a pastry brush, brush downward to blend inside colors. Using a #100 tip, pipe green lines between and over shells, overlapping on top of cake. Using a #70 leaf tip, pipe green and rose leaves on top. With plain tip, pipe green vines around bottom. Using a #67 tip, pipe on leaves.

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