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Choco Butternut Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake with Butternut Streusel

Ingredients

Chocolate Frosting:
2 cups heavy cream, divided [240 mL + 240 mL]
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips) [226.4 g]
1/4 cup powdered sugar [30 g]
2 tsp vanilla extract [10 mL]

Chocolate Cake Layers:
2 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 1/3 cup chocolate chips) [56.6 g]
1 cup hot brewed coffee [240 mL]
2 cups granulated sugar [400 g]
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour [200 g]
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder [82 g]
1 1/3 tsp baking soda [6.67 g]
1/2 tsp baking powder [2 g]
1 tsp salt [5.7 g]
2 large eggs [100 g]
1/2 cup vegetable oil [120 mL}
1 cup buttermilk [240 mL]
1 tsp vanilla extract [5 mL]

Butternut Streusel:
2 cups almond powder [186.7 g]
1/2 cup shredded coconut [37.5 g]
1/3 cup powdered sugar [40 g]
1/4 tsp salt [1.4 g]
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg [1.2 g]
1 tsp orange gel food coloring [5 mL]

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Instructions



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Chocolate Frosting:

In a heat-proof bowl (e.g. metal or glass), add 8 oz (which is about 1 1/3 cups) of dark or bittersweet chocolate chips. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add 1 cup heavy cream and microwave for 2 minutes, till the heavy cream is steaming. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips, let it stand for 1 minute, and mix until the chocolate chips are completely melted and there are no lumps.

Let this cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

When the chocolate ganache is chilled, transfer this mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed for 1 minute, till it becomes light and fluffy.

While continuing to beat on medium-high speed, add 1 cup of very cold heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla extract, and continue whipping till you see stiff peaks. Set this aside in the fridge till you're ready to use it.

Butternut Streusel:

Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C). Take a sheet pan, add in 2 cups of almond flour and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. Mix them together to combine. Bake this almond flour and shredded coconut mixture in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, to dry it out. Take the sheet pan out of the oven, and let the mixture cool in the pan completely to room temperature.

When the almond flour / shredded coconut mixture has cooled completely to room temperature, put it into a mixing bowl. Add in 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg, and whisk together these dry ingredients. Then add 1 tsp of orange gel food coloring.

Mix together with your hands, till everything is well mixed and you end up with a bright orange streusel mixture. Depending on the type of coloring you use, this may take 5 to 10 minutes of mixing and squeezing by hand, pressing the coloring into the crumble.

Chocolate Cake Layers:

Place a rack in the middle position, preheat your oven to 300F (150C), and prepare two 9" round cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and buttering the parchment paper and sides of the pan. Soak 2 cake strips in water, shake off excess water, and place cake strips around cake pans.

Take 2 oz of dark or bittersweet chocolate (about 1/3 cup chocolate chips), and mix it in 1 cup hot brewed coffee (however you would prepare for drinking). Stir until mixture is smooth.

In a big mixing bowl with a sieve, sift in 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, 1 1/3 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in 2 eggs and beat them on medium for about 5 minutes. While continuing to beat, add in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of well-shaken buttermilk. 1 tsp vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate/coffee mixture. When the wet ingredients are well combined, turn down the mixture to low speed. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, and continue to beat just until combined. Scrape down the paddle attachment, as well as the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans, and tap the pans gently to release any air bubbles. Bake at 300F (150C) on the middle rack for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes of cooling, invert the cakes onto wire racks, lift off the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and let the cakes cool completely to room temperature.

Assembling the Cake:

Place a cake board that's larger than 9" on a revolving cake stand. I like to use a 10" cake board. Place the first layer of chocolate cake in the center of the cake board.

Spread about 1 cup of the chocolate frosting on top, creating an even and flat layer as much as possible.

Place the second layer of chocolate cake on top. Cover the sides of the cake with a thin layer of the chocolate frosting, and the same thing on the top of the cake. Use a bench scraper or offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting. Be sure to save some of the chocolate frosting to make rosettes for decorations. Clean off excess frosting from the bottom edge of the cake.

With your hands, place the butternut streusel crumbs on the sides and top of the cake, letting it stick to the frosting, until the entire cake is covered in the orange butternut crumbs.

Attach a large open star tip (I like to use a #1M tip) to a piping bag, and transfer the remaining frosting into the piping bag. Pipe big rosettes around the cake's top edge, about 1 inch away from the edge, or in whatever pattern you'd like. Slice and enjoy!

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