This Espresso Chocolate and Almond Cake looks fancy, doesn’t it? Looks like it took a long time, lots of bowls, lots of effort.
There are a lot of folks in the blogging world that shun the box mix, but kids…I am not one of them. Yes, I do know how to make a cake from scratch, and yes, I will do it. I love the perfect, quiet house Saturdays when I start with a clean kitchen, some Pandora playing, and that sweet stream of light that filters through the window. Those are the days I adore sifting flour and weighing out ingredients. Those are the days I feel at peace and am thrilled to make a cake from scratch
Those days are not common.
Most of my days start with a sink full of last night’s dinner dishes, a counter full of laundry that never made it up the stairs, 17 Happy Meal toys strewn about, and 5 mismatched socks under every kitchen stool and cabinet. There is a deaf old dog under my feet because apparently, when you are a deaf dog, you no longer care where you are in the way and proceed to stay underfoot, making walking an impossible task. The oven is still dirty because of something that bubbled over two weeks ago ( I ain’t cleaning it), and the only music I hear is David Puddy yelling top decibel level on Skylanders.
I’m using a freaking box mix.
This recipe is so simple, I hesitate to even share it, but you deserve a break, too. Plus, my friends at Lavazza love it when I use their incredible coffees in recipes, versus just telling you to drink it. I don’t have all that many friends, either, so…I’m keeping the friends I have happy. Lavazza, if you’ve not tried it, is a very flavorful, very rich coffee. It’s not for the weak willed – it’s for those who live and breathe everything that coffee is supposed to be. It comes in a few flavors, but for this cake? I wanted something that was going to make a statement.
I used Lavazza’s Perfetto ESPRESSO for this cake. “Made from 100% carefully selected Arabica beans, Perfetto is bold with lingering caramel notes. It is roasted a bit longer to produce a “perfect” and characteristically Italian dark flavor profile. The ideal choice for those who love the pure pleasure of espresso roasts.”
Coffee paired with chocolate is a combination that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s great as a candy, in a cup (duh), and of course, in a cake. Box mixes call for water. Coffee is a genius substitute, and really brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I added a small splash of almond extract to the mix as well, and the rest is history.
Give it a shot…I bet no one faults you one bit for starting with that mix.
(And if they do, that’s what throat punches are for.)
Espresso Chocolate and Almond Cake
Makes 20 servings
- 1 Devils Food Cake Mix
- 1 cup Lavazza Espresso Coffee (brewed)
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 4 eggs
- Whipped Almond Buttercream
- 4 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 package (small) Instant vanilla pudding
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- White chocolate curls, to garnish
Preheat oven to 325. Spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick spray or parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare cake mix using coffee, oil, extract, and eggs. Pour evenly into prepared jellyroll pan. Bake until springy, or about 19-23 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan.
While cake is baking/cooling, prepare Whipped Almond Buttercream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and pudding mix until smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Add sugar, and mix on medium high speed until incorporated, about 3 minutes.
Finally, add heavy cream and almond extract in a steady stream, and mix on medium high speed until whipped and light. Lower speed to medium low, and continue to beat for 2 minutes, in order to reduce any air bubbles. Place in piping bag and use as desired.
Once buttercream is prepared and cake is cool, divide cake into two thin halves by slicing it into two layers. This is best done using a slicer or a serrated edged knife.
Remove top half of cake and fill with buttercream. Place top half of cake on the buttercream and ice with remaining buttercream. Allow to cool completely, then sut into serving pieces and top with white chocolate curls, if desired. (Note: I made mine into 3 layers, using thinner cake layers. This makes it much more difficult, therefore, I advise you to keep the layers to two unless you are very comfortable with slicing cake. Tastes the same!)
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Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Lavazza. All thoughts and opinions are my own.