Tag Archives: coffee cake

Coffee cake

coffee cake

This is a cake that I make a lot, but for some reason, not known even to me, I have never posted it here. Sometimes I add 50-100g walnuts to make it into a coffee and walnut cake. Either way, it’s a firm favourite in this household. I have a bread making class this evening and this is the cake that we will be sharing in between kneading and shaping loaves. Then if there is any left the girls will demolish the rest.

The cake follows the rules of the Victoria Sandwich, in that you weigh your eggs and then use that weight for your other ingredients. So today my 4 eggs weighed 220g, so I used 220g butter, 220g sugar (I went with half caster and half light brown sugar), 220g plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder (or for convenience use self-raising flour and then there is no need for baking powder) and a scant cup of strong espresso. You can, of course use instant coffee dissolved into hot water to make a strong coffee solution, or coffee essence.

4 eggs (weigh them in their shells and use that weight for your flour and sugar too)
Softened (room temperature) butter (same weight as your eggs)
Sugar (I used half caster sugar and half light brown, my eggs weighed 220g today so I used 110g of each sugar)
Plain flour (same weight as your eggs)
1 tsp baking powder
Scant cup of strong espresso or instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of water (cooled)

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°c, gas mark 6 or use the centre of the baking oven in a four oven Aga. Grease and line 2 sandwich tins.

Weigh your eggs in their shells and use that weight for your butter, sugar and flour.

Whisk your butter in a large bowl or free-standing mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat well until the mixture is soft and fluffy. This always takes longer than you think it will so be patient and give it time. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well between each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle add a spoonful of flour to the mix and it will come together again. Add the espresso and beat well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in using a large metal spoon carefully but thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the two sandwich pans and spread gently to the edges of the tins. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake has started to shrink away from the sides of the tin and it feels springy when you lightly touch the top with the tip of your finger. Leave to settle in the tin for a couple of minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Sandwich the two cakes together with a coffee butter cream.

Coffee buttercream
100g softened (room temperature) butter
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp strong espresso (cooled)

Method
Beat the butter until soft, add the icing sugar and beat gently until combined and then whisk until fluffy, add the coffee and beat until well combined. Use half the mixture to spread on the bottom of one of the cakes. Lay the other cake on top and use the other half of the buttercream on top of the cake. Decorate with chocolate coffee beans or your choice of nuts.

Coffee cake

A cheeky slice for quality control purposes.

 

Coffee and hazelnut cake

coffee and hazelnut cake

I made this cake for a friend. A few weeks ago she was taking her dog for an early morning walk, slipped and managed to break her ankle in three places and dislocate it. She now has a bionic ankle made good with more pins than a pin cushion on the British Sewing Bee. She is on the mend but still has a good few weeks of recovery to go.

This cake was made to make her feel loved. I have known her since we were 11, (so that is quite a few years), and I consider her as one of my closest friends, and yet I had managed to never notice that she doesn’t like coffee. How did that happen? However, (and I’m not sure if she was just being polite at this point) she did eat a rather hearty slice and asked me to leave her a couple of slices for the next day. Mr OC, who adores coffee, loved this cake. It is drenched with a coffee syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven which makes it deliciously moist. The topping is not your normal sweet buttercream but offers an excellent contrast of creaminess with just an edge of sourness from the quark. You could add more sugar if you were after something a bit sweeter but I liked the contrast very much.

Michele from Cooking at Home recently posted about her coffee cake which never lets her down and everyone loves. I will be making her version next time as I like the idea of the crunchy topping very much.

For the sponge:

1 tbsp instant coffee
scant tbsp hot water
175g (60z) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g (6oz) softened butter (room temperature)
175g (6oz) caster sugar (I used golden)
3 eggs
50g (2oz) hazelnuts, finely chopped (I whizzed whole hazelnuts them in the food processor for a few seconds)

For the syrup:
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
50g (2oz) demerara sugar
50ml (2floz) boiling water

For the filling and topping:
250g (9oz) mascarpone
200g (7oz) Quark or fromage frais
1 tbsp reserved coffee syrup
1 tbsp of dark soft brown sugar (or more according to your taste)

You will need two sandwich tins (mine are 7½ inch or 19 cms) greased and the bases lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170°c, gas mark 3 or use the centre of the baking oven of the four oven Aga.

Method

First mix the coffee powder with the hot water for the cake and allow to cool a little.

Then place all the ingredients, including the coffee mixture into a bowl and mix well until everything is well combined and the batter is a soft dropping consistency. Add a tablespoon of milk if you think it needs to be a little softer. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins. Place the tins in the centre of the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until the sponges are beginning to shrink from the sides of the tin and are springy to the touch.

Whilst the cakes are cooking make the syrup. Place the coffee powder and the sugar in a heatproof jug and pour the boiling water over. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. This will take a minute or two.

As soon as the cakes come out of the oven pierce them all over with a skewer or cocktail stick and then spoon the syrup over as evenly as possible. Reserve a tablespoon of this syrup to add to the filling/topping.

To make the filling, place the mascarpone and quark into a bowl and mix until combined. Add the reserved coffee syrup and the sugar and mix until well combined. Add more sugar if you feel you need it  but bear in mind that a little sourness is a good contrast to the sweetness of the cake.

When the cakes are completely cold turn them out of the tins and place one onto the serving plate. Pile half the filling on top and then top with the second cake. Swirl the remaining filling over the top of the cake.

Take to a coffee-loving friend, or a friend that doesn’t like coffee – the choice is yours. (Sorry, H).

By the way, we had our holiday. A lovely, relaxing 10 day break on Madeira. We saw the sun again and let it warm our bones. What a pleasure. We came back refreshed and ready for action. Now let’s just hope the English sun peaks its head out from behind the clouds. Come on sun, don’t be shy.