Espresso Martini Layer Cake


200g unsalted butter, softened

21/2 cups (550g) caster sugar

4 eggs

250g sour cream

150g dark (70%) chocolate, melted, cooled

3 cups (450g) self-raising flour

3/4 cup (75g) cocoa

1 cup (250ml) Kahlua

1/2 cup (125ml) pure (thin) cream

1/4 cup (60ml) vodka

75g chocolate-coated coffee beans, chopped

Coffee Icing

1kg cream cheese, at room temperature

175g unsalted butter, softened

11/2 tbsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water

21/2 cups (300g) pure icing sugar


Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line two 20cm springform cake pans with baking paper.

Beat butter and 1 3/4 cups (385g) sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until thick and pale. With the motor running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined. Reduce speed to medium-low, then add sour cream, chocolate and a pinch of salt.

Combine flour and cocoa in a bowl, then beat one-quarter flour mixture into chocolate mixture, then one-quarter (60ml) Kahlua. Repeat, alternating between the flour mixture and Kahlua, beating constantly until combined.

Divide batter between pans and bake on the same rack in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (if both cakes do not fit on the same rack, then swap halfway through cooking time).

Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the caramel, combine the remaining 3/4 cup (165g) sugar and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or until golden. Carefully add cream and a pinch of salt, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.

For the icing, beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until combined, then reduce speed to medium and gradually add coffee and icing sugar, beating constantly until combined.

Trim the tops of the cakes to level, then slice each cake in half horizontally so there are 4 cake layers. Brush each cake evenly with the vodka.

To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread with one-quarter icing. Repeat layering three more times, finishing with a final layer of icing.

To serve, top with the coffee beans and drizzle over caramel.