2/17/09

cinnamon-espresso cake



I love espresso. Do you know I would always spell it as expresso? For years I was doing this. I mean when you say it out loud it sounds like there is an X in there. Right? But if you are living in Italy then there are no X's expressed...it's all one lovely flowing beautiful language. uno scorre bella lingua. My Italian is good, no? That's when you say "sì, è in sospeso" (yes, it's outstanding).
Onto the latest creation of mine. I love my morning espresso. I drink about 1 or 2 cups per morning, depending on the day ahead of me. I love Illy coffee. It's so darn expensive, but it's really the only kind I can take. I need to feel like I am drinking real coffee, real coffee beans. Those mountainous cans of ground of coffee and powders in the grocery store are horrid and bitter. I do put a little bit of milk in my espresso so it's mostly a latte. With my love of espresso comes my love of creating baked goods using espresso. This cinnamon & espresso cake did not dissappoint at all. It was wonderful.
I think you could get away without using a glaze, but in all honesty, the espresso in the middle really went well with the glaze/frosting.
A note on the frosting: I tried my best to remember all the ingredients. It may be off a bit here and there, so taste it before using. I need to get one of those handheld recorders to speak into as I throw my ingredients in the bowl.



cinnamon & espresso cake
print recipe

cake:
1 ¼ cups + 2 TB sugar
1 TB + 2 ts cinnamon
1 ½ ts espresso powder (such as medaglia D'oro)
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 ts baking powder
a big pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup half & half or light cream
2 large eggs
1 ts pure vanilla extract
9 TB unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup mini chocolate chips (no substitutions, as the mini's work best here)

glaze:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate morsel or block, chopped
2 TB unsalted butter, soft
Less than half a block of cream cheese, room temp
A tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or spray an 8-inch square cake pan. You can line with parchment paper, but I didn’t need to. In a small bowl, combine 2 TB of sugar, 2 ts of cinnamon, and the espresso powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, remaining cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk the half & half, eggs, and vanilla.
Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and gently whisk until almost combined. Don’t overmix! Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the melted butter, just until the butter is absorbed.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly.
Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the batter and then top with the cinnamon expresso sugar mixture. Top with the remaining batter, spreading it evenly and slowly. Spreading the top half is a bit tricky as you don’t want to spread the middle filling around, so just go slow; working inside to the outside in small little circles.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F, just until a toothpick comes out clean. Please turn pan around halfway, during the middle of cooking. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the parchment. Turn it out again onto another rack so it is right side up.
(The cake will look dark, very dark while it cooks, that’s the cinnamon—it’s not burning.)
For the frosting, put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling!) water. Stir until the chocolate and butter have completely melted and it is super shiny and smooth. Add in the cream cheese. Remove from heat and combine well. (If it gets too thin, let it stand for about 10 minutes and it will eventually thicken up). Spread on the top of the cake and allow the frosting to set up before serving. If it does not set, put it in the fridge for an hour or more, and it will harden up.

64 comments:

  1. I was thinking of baking something with espresso and cinnamon, but I wasn't sure about the flavour combination. The cake looks sooo good!

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  2. I love that swirl throughout your cake, so lovely. Your post makes me wish I spoke Italian, or lived in Italy...one day.

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  3. This looks great especially with a cup of coffee.Much better than anything you can get at Starbucks.

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  4. You have just made my dream cake! Forget the idea of "dream man" and all that nonsense, I fantasize about my dream desserts, and today, I see in my Google reader that you have created a dream! Cinnamon, chocolate, espresso. Wow, wow, I have no other words. I am jumping up and down to try this right now!

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  5. guh dang- these look great - I want to be a baker like this.....you make it look so easy.

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  6. Ohhhhh boy.....what a cake! Coffee and a piece of this cake and I'd be in my happy place for a few minutes-and that would be a good thing. :)
    It looks wonderful, Dawn-I can only imagine how heavenly your kitchen smelled when this was baking!

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  7. yeah i'm right there with you on the 'x' :) while i don't drink the stuff, i'm all about putting it in baked goods and ice cream!!

    and the charles is fantastic to run along, as long as it's above, say, 30? :)

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  8. This looks so good, especially with the swirl and the frosting!

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  9. This is just my kinda cake Dawn...fab. No espresso available here...do you think instsnt arabiatta etc would make a good substitute? This is totally yummy!!

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  10. Totally my kind of cake. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. you are killing me...I have got to have some of that cake.

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  12. I found you after reading your comment on Scary Mommy. Now, I am craving some serious sugar. Those look great!

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  13. "I mean when you say it out loud it sounds like there is an X in there. Right?"

    Oh sweetie, no! It's an S! Grumble. Sorry, pet peeve. I used to work at a Starbucks and it would aggravate all of us no end when people put an X in there. But that's beside the point. I wouldn't care how you pronounced it if you gave me a slice of that delicious looking cake. ;)

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  14. You know i would lick the topping off first...very slowly. Then I would nibble the cake part...just until you turned away and I snuck another piece in my mouth.

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  15. This looks SO delicious! I love the flavor combo here and anything that has that much cinnamon is great in my book!

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  16. I'm regretting letting you in on Flickr. Those pictures are so amazing that I can *almost* taste it. But almost isn't good enough!!

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  17. My goodness your blog is yummy. I've checked on it now and then when I see your comments on other blogs, but need to move it up in my huge list of blogs to read and gawk at.
    Having a giveaway on my blog if you want to stop by.

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  18. What a lovely cake!!The flavor combo sounds scrumptious! Your pictures are outstanding.

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  19. My husband just brought some really excellent espresso from Brazil - I am going to sneak some away and make this cake - looks wonderful!

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  20. I seriously want to be a guest in your house...although I would probably gain 20 pounds. lol. I have had a bottle of espresso in my kitchen for a while. I should use it in this.

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  21. This combines all of the flavors I love -- cinnamon, coffee, chocolate. The photos are mouthwatering!

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  22. Mmmmmmmmm I am printing this out, I have to have this Dawn! This is a gorgeous cake.

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  23. i said "expresso" until i was 20 and started working for starbucks...i'm not proud of that fact.
    meanwhile, STELLAR cake. clearly, i adore the cinnamon component, but the espresso appeals to me too.

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  24. Great combo!! I am loving that swirl!!

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  25. Yum, such great flavors

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  26. Dawn, this cake looks so divine!! Wow! Great stuff!!

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  27. Wow wee wow wow wow! That is some great cake. Love the flavor combo. Anything with cinnamon is good for me. Oh and your explanation of the Irish Eggs Benedict had me speechless. I lurve corned beef hash, then to benedict it has to be the best! Do you make it yourself or did he buy it?

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  28. that looks so decadent adn delicious!

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  29. I've heard so much, I really do need to try this Illy coffee. I also need to try this cake. The combination of the picture quality and cake quality is making my mouth water.

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  30. Hee, I love that you asked for no substitutions with the chocolate chips :) Looks fantastic-- I love the thick, swirly chocolate frosting :)

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  31. I puffy heart espresso. It always drives me nuts when Sandra Lee says expresso....moving on.

    Illy is my absolute favorite esprsso. Add a little half and half and a sprinkling of sugar in the raw and I'm in heaven. Every weekend we have a cuppa and cinnamon toast. But this cake would be awesome too!

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  32. Well, that looks like heaven on a plate! Beautiful cake - bet it tastes amazing!

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  33. I love espresso...I def say expresso too :) I get nervous when I order an extra shot at starbucks because I don't know whether to say eSpresso or eXpresso. Whatever...gimme my drink ;) This cake sounds amazing! I always put cinnamon in my coffee so I bet this combo in cake form is amazing!

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  34. Geez Dawn this is quite an amazing recipe, I can't even believe it, it's gorgeous.

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  35. My fiance would flip for this beautiful cake. He's also very picky about, in his case, coffee. But I have to say, the smell of that stuff brewing in the morning is just about the best there is. Second only, I would imagine, to the smell of this baking up!

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  36. This site is making me fat, um, I mean, fatter ;)

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  37. Holy large and beautiful goodness!!! YUM!

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  38. hubby will definitely love this... :)

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  39. ....I just cried a little....

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  40. YUM!

    Kelly Turner
    www.everygymsnightmare.com

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  41. I have to say...that your non-chocolate desserts look amazing to a serious chocoholic!

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  42. I like the sound of the coffee, cinnamon and chocolate combo! They look great!

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  43. Ok ok ok ..enough already..stop coming up with all of these goodies!

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  44. This looks absolutly delicious!

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  45. Illy is definitely the best one out there, I agree. Nothing comes all that close either, have you noticed? Espresso in a cake is a match made in heaven to me, but my hubby would never eat it as he hates coffee. (yes, i cannot understand it either!) It would be just Claire and I scarfing this one down. Not a bad idea though as it looks divine.

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  46. i think i seriously need to be invited to your house for treats :) you are always baking something that i'm craving right at this moment.

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  47. Oh goodness Dawn, those look great! YUMMMM. Too bad I am staying away from desserts right now. Can we call this bread? LOL!

    I know what you mean about coffee and lattes. Luckily I have a good friend who roasts her own beans and man are they good!

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  48. cinnamon, espresso and chocolate...i may die just thinking about that amazing trio.

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  49. Cinnamon and espresso combined in a yummy cake...BRILLIANT!

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  50. Questa torta e squisita!

    There is no end to the yumminess coming from you.

    I took a cat sitting job this week taking care of the lovely Gingerplum (don't you just love that name?) and I think of you every morning as I test the weather on my walk down the road to feed her.

    Despite the snow dustings, there have been a few balmy days. It's just gonna get better.

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  51. This would be grand on a day like today. Snowing, icky, almost hit a deer and then almost slide into the side of my house trying to get through the snowdrift in front of my garage door. Sigh. I would have to make it with coffee as I have no espresso. I can't imagine how hopped up I would be if I drank that! It looks utterly divine though!

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  52. ps-I have something for you over at my place :)

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  53. Oh my gosh. I *just* found your blog. When I saw the first picture my jaw dropped open. When I saw this cake I about died. I am losing weight at the moment, but I *love* to bake and I have 5 kids, so I am saving your site to my favorites. For special occasions, of course. Yum.

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  54. Wow, this is a cake heaven here at your blog... i ll be sooo comming back.

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  55. OH-MY-GAWD.....this looks SOOOO delicious!!! My favorite tastes together, cinnamon and espresso (or anything coffee)!! I love this. Gonna have to try it. :) Now I have to go get my Rocky Road ice cream because that's the closest thing I have with chocolate in it. :)

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  56. I think if I could marry a cake...it would be this one.

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  57. I just made this for my roomies who are giving up sweets for Lent...it was AMAZING!! Huge huge fans!

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  58. I looked at this recipe the other day but still had to come back and say how gorgeous it looks. This is the kind of cake you see being sold in a nice coffee shop Mmmmmmmm!

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  59. Awesome job......I don't drink coffee or expresso (ha!) but I would love to have a slice of that cake, sounds and looks so good!
    ~ingrid

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  60. Just wanted to let you know I made an adapted version of this cake and linked to you on my blog. Check it out! :)

    http://icecreambeforedinner.blogspot.com/2009/03/more-blog-catching-up-awards-wilton.html

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