Espresso Dark Chocolate Cake Kit
Espresso Dark Chocolate Cake Kit
I worked with Intelligentsia to create this cake kit which is utterly bursting with coffee aroma. That’s because it has a truly UNHOLY amount of Black Cat espresso powder in both the cake and the icing mixes. This cake is for real coffee aficionados who aren’t afraid of caffeine. I added semi-sweet Callebaut dark chocolate callets to the cake (the same chocolate from my Flourless Chocolate kit) and chose cocoa nibs as the decorations - because the cake really doesn’t need anything more than a nice crunch to round off each bite.
WHY ARE THE CAKER CAKE KITS SO EXPENSIVE?
The Caker cake kits are like nothing else in the cake mix game, they are a novel innovation of a product that has seen unbelievably little change since it was invented almost 100 years ago… But at 9 times the price of a supermarket cake mix though, how are they better?
1. COMPLETE WITH ICING AND/OR DECORATIONS
They come with every dry ingredient for the cake and icing PLUS the decorations so all you have to add are a few simple fresh ingredients. Your cake will end up actually looking like the picture on the box with very little effort required.
2. STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE INGREDIENTS
I'm not joking when I say that my Espresso Dark Chocolate cake kits contain over US$7 of Intelligentsia freeze-dried Black Cat espresso. Plus ingredients like almond flour and Callebaut 72% cocoa solids chocolate callets, which are expensive because they're the best. My Banana Cinnamon cake kit contains organic coconut sugar because I love the caramel vibe it lends. It's all in the name of taste.
3. LIFE SAVING NON-STICK LINER
Baking a perfect cake and then having it stick to the pan is a reason I hear all the time for why people say they don't like baking. I started pushing oversized baking paper circles into my pans early on in my baking career because I didn't have time to cut out precise strips of baking paper to get those clean edges. The result is rippled, indented edges, which has become a very signature and intentional look!
4. MY PERSONAL RECIPES
I developed my recipes based on the type of desserts I personally love to eat. They're the polar opposite of a sponge cake with themed fondant icing. They're not light in texture, they're dense (for lack of a better word) and often filled with big pieces of fruit! So when you try a Caker kit, you're not only trying something new, you're trying something super personal to me that you could only otherwise try from my bakery in Auckland or Los Angeles. My cake kits aren't watered down versions of my cakes from my bakeries, they are very similar recipes, which was super important to me when designing the line. PS. If you find the texture weird, you’re not alone, but reading THESE COMMENTS from some converts out there might shed some light!
5. GIFT WORTHY PACKAGING
I love shiny things, I love cosmetic packaging, I love when something feels considered... I don't like thin cardboard boxes or non-delicious looking images on food packaging. So I worked with my designers to create a product that is aesthetically good enough to give as a gift. I think one of my best business memories to date is when someone said they had bought a dozen cake kits for Christmas presents and said to me "they're amazing, they're like the new bottle of wine!"
6. OWNER OPERATED SMALL BUSINESS
I think it’s cool to cheer on a family owned business, and in the case of The Caker it is still just my little sister, Anouk, and I running the show! It's not easy growing a business as such a small team, so every customer is a true hero in our eyes. Trying a cake kit means you're supporting two girls whose goal in life is to bring people joy through super moist, fudgey cakes that are bursting with flavor!
Dani and Ash
Tips & Tricks
Fresh ingredients you will need
For the cake:
- 1 Cup of milk (regular or dairy free)
- ½ Cup of oil or 115g of melted butter
For the icing:
- 1 Tablespoon and teaspoon of milk to make a glaze
- 150g (1 ⅓ sticks) of butter (regular or dairy free) to make a buttercream
Preheat the oven to 180°C /350°F fan bake and press the non-stick liner into an 8"/20cm circle cake pan (the liner is intentionally oversized so you will end up with The Caker's signature ripples in the sides of the cake).
In a bowl, combine the Cake Mix with 1 cup of milk and ½ cup of oil or melted butter. Don’t overmix!
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it out to the sides.
Bake the cake for around 40-50 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on the cake as it bakes, it will be ready when it is springy to the touch and a knife comes out clean.
Once baked, allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool in the fridge.
To make a glaze in a small bowl combine the Espresso Icing Mix with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of milk and mix until smooth To make a buttercream using an electric mixer, beat the Espresso Icing Mix with 150g = 1 ⅓ sticks of room temp butter on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
Once the cake is completely cool, spread the icing onto the cake and sprinkle over the Cocoa Nib Decorations. Top with fresh edible flowers if desired!
Serve at room temperature. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
TOP TIPS TO REMEMBER
This cake is super easy to make, the main things to remember when making it are:
- preheat your oven!
- don’t mix the batter too much (especially if you are using an electric mixer)
- make sure your cake is properly cool before you ice it
WHAT IS THE BEST SIZE PAN TO USE?
Using an 8” pan is really important, otherwise your cake might be too tall and be difficult to cook through, or too flat and resemble a pancake. I’ve sourced a cake pan, which is the perfect dimensions and thickness to ensure your cake bakes perfectly so be sure to add it to your cart before you check out.
WHAT IS THE BEST OIL TO USE?
Always use a light, neutral tasting oil in your cakes such as light olive oil.
SHOULD I USE SALTED OR UNSALTED BUTTER?
We would recommend using unsalted butter, as there is already salt in the cake mix. In saying this, salted butter will work fine if that is all you have at home.
WHAT IS THE BEST MILK TO USE?
Feel free to use any unsweetened milk you like! Some dairy free alternatives that work well are nut milks, oat milk and soy milk. Coconut milk can also be used, but is very high in fat (which can affect the cake), I would suggest combining equal parts coconut milk and water and then measuring for your recipe.
WHAT SHOULD MY BATTER LOOK LIKE?
Your batter should be thick as opposed to runny.
WHAT IS OVERMIXING?
When incorporating your wet and dry ingredients together be sure to use a gentle folding motion and stop as soon as your cake batter has come together. Any stirring after this point would be classed as overmixing. Overmixing your cake develops the gluten in your batter, giving it an unpleasant, doughy mouth feel.
WHAT ADJUSTMENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE IF BAKING AT HIGH ALTITUDE?
Because the rate of evaporation is faster at high altitude, cakes often require more liquid and longer bake times so you should favor an overpour instead of an underpour of all liquid ingredients and don't be alarmed if your cake takes longer than the prescribed bake time. Also, the lighter air at high altitude allows cake batter to expand more and faster, often making it necessary to increase the oven temperature by 25° and to use a larger baking pan if you have one.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT'S BAKED?
Your cake is ready when a sharp knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The reason we recommend checking cakes regularly after the halfway point is that you want to catch the cake at the moment it is baked to perfection, especially considering a cake will continue to cook for a few minutes after it has been removed from the oven. Your cake should rise slightly and have a flat, matte surface.
WHAT TEXTURE SHOULD MY BAKED CAKE BE?
Your cake should be tender, dense and bordering on brownie-like. My cakes all have a sumptuous, close-crumb texture due to the high amount of ground almonds in the recipe!
WHAT SHOULD MY GLAZE LOOK LIKE?
Your glaze should be thick yet soft enough to spread. If your glaze is not spreadable, you can add extra liquid ¼ tsp at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. If your glaze is too runny, you can add extra icing sugar 1 tsp at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
HOW TO TURN THIS KIT INTO A TIRAMISU DESSERT
A FUN ADDITION
CAN I MAKE CUPCAKES?
You can make about 8 minicakes (large single serve cupcakes) or 30 babycakes (small 1-2 bite cupcakes) with this kit (just remember to reduce the bake time to 20-25 minutes). Here’s how…
Prepare your cake batter according to the recipe card provided.
Line a mini or babycake tray with enough cupcake papers for either size (babycakes are around 3.5cm diameter on their base, minicakes are around 6cm in diameter).
Fill each cupcake paper with your cake batter using a teaspoon. For babycakes make sure each paper is filled about 1-2mm below the top line, for minicakes, fill the papers about ⅔ full.
Bake for around 20-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Every oven is different, so you may need to bake your babycakes for a shorter or longer time - keep an eye on them as they bake!
Allow your cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tray, then take each out to cool on a cooling rack.
Prepare your icing as per the instructions on the recipe card.
Check that your cupcakes are completely cool, then, using a teaspoon, spread a small amount of glaze over each cake, enough to cover the top. If your glaze is looking a little runny, get your cupcakes into the fridge as soon as possible and leave for 15 minutes to allow the glaze to set.
Sprinkle your Cocoa Nib Decorations over your babycakes. Add fresh flowers for an extra Caker touch if desired.
HOW DO I MAKE A TIERED CAKE?
To make your mini 3-tiered cake you will be using two Caker cake kits and simply doubling the wet ingredients instructed. 1 cup of milk per the instructions becomes 2 cups of milk, ½ a cup of oil becomes 1 cup and so on.
SOME HANDY TIPS
You will need a big bowl for all the batter as well as 1x 8”, 1x 6” and 1x 4” cake tins.
Don’t forget to preheat the oven (180C/350F), this is such an important step.
For the largest pan, you need to use one of the parchment paper circles from the kits, the other two are provided with the pans (if you haven’t purchased my Mini Tiered Cake Bundle you will need to cut your own - trimming one from your second kit is nice and easy).
Prepare your batters in a single bowl according to the recipe card, remembering to use double the wet ingredients stated.
Once the cake batter is ready, the most important thing to get right is the amount of batter per pan such that all the cakes will come out with proportional heights. You want about 1” (2.5cm) of batter in the 2 larger pans and ½” (just over 1cm) in the smallest pan (add your fruit last if your kit requires it). If you add too much batter, just take some out with a spoon.
When the cakes go into the oven, set a timer for 20 minutes because that’s around the time that the 4” cake will be done. At 30 minutes the 6” cake should be done. At 45-50 minutes the 8” cake should be done.
If you want to make a buttercream, take both glaze sachets and use an electric mixer to combine them with 300g butter (regular or vegan) until super light, fluffy and smooth. If you’re making a Flourless Dark Chocolate tiered cake, my ganache recipe can be found here.
When assembling the cake, apply about half of the glaze/buttercream/ganache onto the centre of the largest cake and work your way slowly to the edges. I like to spin the cake at the same time as I spread the glaze/buttercream, but just do whatever feels comfortable. Make sure the middle layer is nice and centred before applying the glaze/buttercream - you’ll want to use just over half of what’s left for this layer, and the rest on the third layer.
You won’t need all of the freeze-dried fruit decorations, so use what’s left for another occasion! Add Fresh Flowers for an extra Caker touch if desired.