I have been down for the count. I got a cold last week that literally kicked my buttushki. I spent more time in bed than I have in ages. It was downright sad. I was actually feeling sorry for myself because the height of this ickiness happened to have been my birthday. I am not usually one to get all excited about birthdays, especially after I turned 40 (BLAH!), but being in bed, sick, on your birthday is just not right. I didn’t get cake or anything!
So to make up for it, I made a cake last night. I made up this cake as a way to combine my 2 favorite things: Chinese food and chocolate!
I hope you like it. My kids said “This is the best cake you have ever made!” Happy birthday to me :)
Chocolate 5-spice Cake with Ginger Buttercream Frosting
Chinese 5 Spice Mix
9 Star Anise, broken
1 ½ cinnamon sticks, broken
3 chile de arbol
9 cardamom pods, smashed
1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
Add all of the spices listed, except the ground ginger, into a warm pan. Shake pan to keep spices moving until they become fragrant. Place these spices plus the ginger into a spice grinder and blend until powdery. Set aside.
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. hot, strong brewed coffee
6 oz. dark chocolate (75%+), chopped
1 c. buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. sugar
½ c. chocolate pieces/chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and sugar a 10″ round cake pan. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices then sift to mix. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the chocolate and then pour over the hot coffee. Allow to sit for about a minute then whisk to combine. Chocolate should be runny at this point.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the 2 eggs until foamy and lighter in color. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix just to combine. Add the chocolate and coffee mixture and blend on medium for about a minute, scraping sides as needed. Add the flour and spice mixture and blend on medium until fully combined, scraping sides as needed. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate pieces. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until pick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before inverting and frosting.
Ginger Buttercream Frosting
1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened, unsalted butter
1 cup of marshmallow fluff
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. candied ginger, finely chopped
To make buttercream frosting, blend butter and marshmallow fluff until smooth. Add powdered sugar, blend until smooth. Add vanilla and candied ginger. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Spread onto cooled cake top. Double if looking to cover entire cake.