Yield: 12 SERVINGS
Prep time: 2 HR
Cook time: 40 MIN
Ganache resting time: 3 HR
Total time: 5 HR 40 MIN
This white chocolate mocha cake pairs tender white chocolate espresso cake layers with a whipped white chocolate ganache and silky espresso buttercream will surely be the highlight of any birthday party!
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA CAKE:
140g white chocolate chopped (or white chocolate chips)
1½ cups milk
1 tbsp espresso powder
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
FOR THE ESPRESSO SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
3 large egg whites
1 cups granulated sugar
1½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
1½ tbsp instant espresso powder more or less to taste
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
450g white chocolate finely chopped
150g heavy cream
bright white color gel
dark chocolate crisp pearls
TO MAKE THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA CAKE:
Heat milk and chocolate until melted and combined using a microwave, stirring between 30-second bursts or in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325°F(160°C). Grease and flour three 6-inch cake rounds and line with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on med-high until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Reduce the speed and add one egg at a time fully incorporating after each addition. Then add the vanilla.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (4 additions of flour and 3 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
Place cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.
TO MAKE THE ESPRESSO SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined. Wipe your mixer bowl and whisk down with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure it is completely grease-free and make sure there is no trace of yolk in your whites or your meringue will not stiffen.
Place the bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (about 3 minutes). Or registers 160°F(70°C) on a candy thermometer.
Place the bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (about 5-10 minutes)).
Switch to a paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth. If it looks soupy, place it in the fridge for 20 mins and whip it again.
Add espresso powder and whip until smooth. If your instant espresso is not a superfine powder, dissolving it first in 1-2 tsp hot water (then let cool) before adding to the frosting.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
Place chopped chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 5-10 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool completely and thicken.
Remove ⅔ cup of the thickened white chocolate ganache, set aside. Whip remaining ganache until light and fluffy.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE DRIP (OPTIONAL):
If needed, microwave the ⅔ cup ganache you set aside at very small increments (3 seconds) to thin out. Add a few drops of bright white color gel if desired.
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with half of the whipped ganache then spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and crumb coat the cake with any remaining ganache. Chill for 20 minutes until ganache is set.
Frost and smooth the sides with the espresso buttercream, reserving some for the rope border on top. Chill for 30 minutes until the frosting is cold and firm.
Using a small spoon, place dollops of white chocolate ganache around the top edges of the chilled cake, allowing some to drip down. Fill in the top of the cake with more ganache and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Chill to set ganache for 5 minutes.
Pipe a rope border on top using a Wilton 1M tip. Sprinkle small and large white nonpareils on top as well as some chocolate crisp pearls if desired. Roughly toss some small nonpareils onto the sides of the cake if desired. Place coffee beans along the bottom.