Things are a little crazy this week.
We are in the process of moving on from Thailand to Malaysia to spend the next few months there.
On Sunday we moved out of the house we had rented for the last 7 months and which somehow did become home for us in that time. We are taking lots of good memories connected to this place with us.
It was huge, much bigger than we needed, but it allowed us to take in visitors. We were so happy when my sister-in-law and her friend stopped by on their backpacking trip through Asia. And when my husband’s friend came for a visit on his way home from Australia.
Even our friend who is teaching in Japan at the moment came to spend her vacation time with us in beautiful Krabi, Thailand.
And also a few funny and crazy memories we will connect with this place. Like the fact, that we could count on there not being any water the day we expected visitors. Made cleaning and pretending ‘we are neat people’ a little difficult 🙂
Or the birdy couple nesting in the roof of our deck. None of our attempts to clean the nest (no eggs) and dirt they created could discourage them from starting a new nest at the same place, every single time! Finally, we became friends with them and accepted that we had to sweep the deck almost every day.
But I think none of these crazy moments can top this one.
My husband and I are in the kitchen, me preparing some lunch while he was enjoying some fruit. I turn around to wash my hands, when I suddenly notice a big, green snake (over 3 ft.) curled up on the blinds above the window my husband is standing at.
Immediately, goosebumps cover my entire body and I shriek out. This was the first time I saw a live snake outside of a zoo. Luckily, growing up in South America, hubby has had a lot more snake encounters than me and with the help of my mop we got it out of the kitchen.
Later, we researched that this kind is not aggressive and there are no reports of anyone dying from its bites. Still, I prefer not having it as cooking companion in my kitchen.
To compensate for all the packing and to cope with trying to survive life in a guest house, we don’t forget to soothe ourselves the best way there is: Thai massages … and cake, of course!
We had a wonderful Mocha Almond Cake at Easy Cake in Krabi (I told you about their mother restaurant in this post). For us coffee and chocolate lovers this is the perfect combination.
A decadent chocolate mocha cake, paired with a fluffy light espresso buttercream, topped with plenty of toasted almond slivers.
If you would like to create a similar cake, Jodi from More Sweets, Please has a great rich chocolate mocha cake recipe which can be made into a layer cake.
When I contacted her about the recipe, she also made the great suggestion to brush the still warm layers with additional Kahlua for a richer coffee taste. More coffee…? We definitely like that!
For the buttercream the whipped espresso buttercream from Michelle, the Brown Eyed Baker will fit perfectly. The rich, dense cake calls for a light, cloud-like buttercream. The following recipe is for a filled two-layer cake (doubled the original recipe). If you also want to pipe decorations or make it a three-layer cake, multiply by 1.5
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or 1½ tablespoons instant coffee granules)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua and additional Kahlua to brush on the cake layers - optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 cup almond slivers, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, line and flour 2 or 3 8" round cake pans.
- Melt butter in a bowl in the the microwave, add cocoa and hot water and mix together. In another bowl mix flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Blend in buttercream, eggs and Kahlua.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick/cake tester comes out clean (start checking at 20 min. when dividing into 3 pans). Leave layers in pans to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and brush one side with additional Kahlua. Let cool completely.
- Mix vanilla and espresso powder together until dissolved. If required, heat mixture in microwave for a few seconds to help dissolve the powder.
- Whisk butter with the whisk attachment of your mixer for 5 minutes, scrape down sides. On low speed, add powdered sugar a little at a time. When all powdered sugar is incorporated, turn up speed and beat until fluffy for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla-espresso mixture and whip until incorporated.
- Spread buttercream between the cake layers and on top and the sides. Sprinkle the top with toasted almonds. You can also pipe borders with remaining buttercream.