Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Bourbon Glaze

Glazed cinnamon rolls

I’ve done something terrible. And by terrible, I mean ridiculously awesome. I’m sorry to torture you with this when there you are (probably), comfortably not thinking about fresh cinnamon rolls, ooey and gooey with their decadent cinnamon filling, slathered with a coffee bourbon glaze, and turning your kitchen into the smell of a heavenly bakery with that beautiful yeasted dough.

Oh boy, I really went off there…can you tell I’m in love? Seriously guys, these came out of the oven around 6PM yesterday and promptly turned into dinner….a three bun dinner. I regret nothing.

Rolled yeast dough

This feels like a “I’m sorry/you’re welcome” kind of recipe. …Keep reading!

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Coffee Chiffon Birthday Cake with a Fudgey Ganache

Alternate titles for this post: “Can we just have cake for dinner?”/ “I is a burrito.”/ “If this is what a quarter-life crisis looks like, I like it!”

You see, this past Saturday, our beautiful Caitlyn turned 25. Now, minus the misplacing items frequently and difficulty hearing, she really doesn’t seem any older :)  She carried the weekend in true style and grace. We celebrated in DC with many friends and then headed out to West Virginia where we rented a cabin for a little fun in the countryside! We saw a truly breathtaking sky full of stars, hiked, made a big family dinner, and just had a wonderful time celebrating. It was the perfect way to celebrate one of the best ladies I know.

If she wished for a delicious birthday cake, she was in luck ;)

After discussing this CRUCIAL decision with the birthday girl, I settled on a coffee chiffon cake with a fudgey chocolate ganache. The cake was a very light sponge with strong coffee and a hint of cinnamon. Each layer was  soaked in a coffee-rum glaze and then iced with a thick layer of rich ganache icing. I know that that’s not really a thing (don’t tell Caitlyn cause she doesn’t like icing), but I’d probably realistically call it a dark chocolate fudge frosting. Hair-splitting aside, the cake was delightfully moist and light while the ganache was a wonderful, rich dark chocolate contrast. And I took some step-by-step photos for you, cause I was super together on this one!

Start with your dry ingredients in a large bowl: cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, some instant coffee, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, mix up the wet ingredients: egg yolks, vegetable oil, coffee, vanilla.

Then whip up your egg whites with some sugar until they form soft peaks.

Pour the coffee egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold them together until just mixed. Then fold in a quarter of the egg whites.

Then add the rest of the egg whites being careful not to deflate that delicate bowl of beauty. You want to slowly cut the spatula down the middle, pull some over the top, turn the bowl a little and repeat.  When you’re almost done, it will look like this:

Then divide the batter into two 8 inch rounds (while trying to take a perfect picture)

Soooo I didn’t do step-by-step of the ganache because it was made in a mad dash while prepping the apartment for our party and prettying myself. But lemme tell ya, it was mostly a ton of melted dark chocolate with some cream, a little suga and butta, and some mo’ instant coffee. It was ridiculous. Oh. Boy. I mean, oh, wow. Silly.

Once the cakes are cooled, you cut each one in half with a large bread knife, and douse each layer in a “simple syrup” of coffee, rum, and sugar. Ice it and decorate it! Boom! You’ve got yourself a birthday cake fit for a princess! :)

*Here’s the recipe:

Coffee Chiffon Birthday Cake with a Fudgey Ganache

Preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk together in  a large bowl:

-1 1/3c. cake flour
-1 c. sugar
-1 t. baking powder
-1/2 t. cinnamon
-1/2 t. salt
-1 T. instant coffee

In another bowl, whisk together:

-1/4c. vegetable oil
-6 egg yolks (save the whites)
-6 T. strong, freshly brewed coffee (cooled to room temp)
-2 t. vanilla extract

Whisk the remaining 6 egg whites on medium, until foamy. Then slowly add in:

-1/2c. sugar

Whisk the sugar and eggs on medium-high until the whites form soft peaks. (They’ll droop off the edge of the mixer when you pull it out, but still keep their shape.)

Fold the coffee/egg mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended. Then stir in a quarter of the egg whites. Fold in the rest of the whites being careful not to deflate them – be gentle here. (Like I mentioned, you want to slowly cut the spatula down the middle, pull some over the top, turn the bowl a little and repeat.)

Pour the batter into two 8 inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine:

-1/3c. strong coffee
-1/3c. rum
-1/3c. sugar

Simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.

**For the Fudgey Ganache

Melt all together in a saucepan over low-medium heat:

-1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
-1 c. heavy cream
-2 T. light corn syrup
-1/2 stick (1/4c.) salted butter

Once everything is just melted, transfer the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl of a large stand mixer, and whip the ganache, slowly adding:

-1 c. powdered sugar
-2 T. instant coffee

**To assemble:

 

Using a long bread knife, carefully cut the cakes in half, so you’ll have 4 layers. Then, using a spoon, lightly drizzle the glaze over the bottom cake layer. Ice the layer, and stack the next cake layer on top and repeat. Then ice the whole darned thing, and decorate it if you you have a special occasion – like a birthday! :)

Cut into it and this is what you’ll get…

 

**French phrase for fun

J’aime un souhait d’anniversaire qui devient réalité :)

I love a birthday wish that comes true.

Coffee’s Favorite Biscotti

(ya see what I did there?! …clever, I know. That’s why they pay me the big bucks.)

So I’m fully aware that I have a slight coffee addiction, but I’m really ok with it (especially because of the reported health benefits, seriously, check it out.) As soon as my new boss mentioned, “And we have a coffee club if you’d like to—” me, “Absolutely! I’m in.” And praise the Lord, they do nice, freshly ground coffee – the good stuff! Soooooo exciting!

You may think I’m a little over the top, but it’s really the little things in life that I get excited about. Like that great cup of coffee, or the fact that I saw a 60 year-old man in… JEANS. SHORTS. OVERALLS. Fact. It was ridiculous. I loved it. I also get excited about that guy you pass on the street with a handlebar mustache- he must spend so much time on that! Really, wow. I also LOVE perfectly painted nails and this delicious biscotti!

They’re Dark Chocolate Anise Biscotti from the new Joy the Baker cookbook! They have a very subtle licorice flavor from just 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed anise seeds, and the dark chocolate is the perfect match for these crunchy delights! Add a good, hot cup of coffee into the equation, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful breakfast or an awesome afternoon treat. You deserve it! :)

These biscotti from Joy the Baker would also be delicious!

**French phrase for fun!

Enthousiasmez-vous pour quelque chose de petite ce week-end!

Get excited about something little this weekend! :)


Truth: I Am Like My Birthday Cake.

Here’s a peek into my life via cake…

There’s seemingly not a whole lot going on there, but wait…it’s just like me: highly caffeinated, layered, a little crumbly in the middle, but sweet, and dark… Dark like my soul. (well, scratch that last part, but it IS delicious!)

Truth: I probably drink too much coffee (but I really just drink it so I can make jokes about how I like my coffee like I like my men.)

Truth: I have layers, but I like to think that they’re sweet like this cake.

Truth: I’ve got a lot going on what with moving, a new job, and trying to figure out life, so it makes me feel a little crumbly. (but on the honor system, this cake was actually really dense- not crumbly, but I didn’t love the idea of calling myself dense.)

Truth: I’m super sweet!…or at least I try. (the darkness only comes out during a full moon.)

So I made myself a birthday cake. It worked out perfectly- I needed to make a new recipe this week, and I love nothing more than people gushing about my delicious creations! :) Soooooooooooooo I scoured my favorite food blogs, and finally embraced this luscious coffee coffee cake from the Pioneer Woman. Your eyes don’t deceive you; that is a rectangular cake- ya make do with what you have! :D It was fantastic.

**French phrase for fun!

Vérité: cinq personnes m’ont demandé si j’étais française la semaine dernière!

Truth: five people asked me if I was French last week! :)

A Little Something to Make Huge Sweeping Changes Less Scary

So I’m in the process of moving. Now that I officially got a job (yay!), it’s REAL. IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING! I’m very excited, but it’s also crazy! And my first major concern about the whole matter- a place to live?…nah. A second job to pay the rent?…meh. A one-way plane ticket?…(a close second). But my NUMBER ONE concern…do I bring all of my beautiful dijon Le Creuset cast iron cookware, my Cuisinart food processor, my Kitchen Aid?!!??!!

It’s obviously all stuff that I can’t reeeaaally live without, buuuuuuut they’re all BIG ticket items, and this is a pretty far move. I don’t really see myself packing all of that up in the two suitcases I’ll be bringing back with me…I would DIE. I’ll figure it out though.

And it’s rare I can’t fall asleep within a minute of my red head hitting the pillow, but these kinds of questions dancing in my head (sadly, not the same as sugar plums) have kept me up. But never fear, the Cocoa Cafe Delight is here to help sweeten and relax any evening!

I concocted this simple cocktail last week, and yum. It’s exactly what the ladies and I needed. It’s:

-2 parts strong coffee

-1 part milk

-1 part vodka (missing from the photo above, I know)

-1 part creme de cocoa

-2 spoonfuls of chocolate syrup

Stir with ice, and drizzle a little extra syrup on top for fun! :) Santé!

**My day in French:

J’ai eu l’entretien, obtenu le poste, et célébré avec un bon verre!

I had the interview, got the job, and celebrated with a nice drink!