Thursday 14 October 2010

Mocha cake with coffee buttercream

And now for something more successful.... (and where is October disappearing to so quickly? my time seems to be vanishing into a big black hole at the moment!)

I'm not a big coffee drinker and don't particularly enjoy the flavour. However, I sometimes really fancy a bit of coffee, don't know why, but I do like the smell, especially on holiday! But I feel I ought to try and come round to this 'adult' flavour so occasionally when the craving hits I make something coffee flavoured. Because I don't drink it, I struggle to know how to add coffee flavour - ground coffee directly into the batter? instant coffee made up strong? In the end I chose instant espresso powder, made up fairly strong to add my flavour. I also wanted to add chocolate, and so added a little cocoa powder too, pretty much making it up as I went along!

Mocha cake with coffee buttercream
200g softened butter
200g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp cocoa powder (this was 9g)
1tsp instant espresso powder made up in a little boiling water, allowed to cool slightly
225g self raising flour

For the buttercream
100g softened butter
225g icing sugar
1 tsp instant espresso powder made up in a little boiling water, allowed to cool slightly
a little dark chocolate to decorate

- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line an 8x12" (20x30cm) traybake tin with silicon parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until mixed and adding a little of the flour to prevent the mixture curdling if it threatens to do so.
- Add the cocoa powder and flour and mix to combine. Fold in the coffee.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for 40-45 minutes until well risen and lightly golden brown.
- Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool.

For the buttercream, beat together the butter and icing sugar until extremely pale and fluffy, adding the coffee a little at a time as you do so.

When the cake is cool, trim the edges and cut in half lengthways so you have two long pieces of equal width. Spread half of the buttercream onto one piece of cake, place the other piece on top and spread with the remaining buttercream. I had such a good time doing this, it felt like bricklaying and it was really hard to just leave the buttercream alone once it looked done, I kept wanting to rearrange it!!! Grate a little dark chocolate over the top of the cake to decorate.

Wait for admiring responses!

I'm not quite sure exactly what it is about using coffee in cooking but I always seem to get a really, really light cake when I do a coffee cake. I can make quite reasonable plain vanilla or chocolate cakes in the same manner, but when coffee is added the resulting cake always seems to be lighter. I've spoken to J about it and she agrees that her coffee cake is always really light in texture. I wonder if anyone else has found this? Let me know in the comments below!

Anyway, what did it taste like? Fab! I'm still not sure if I'm a fan of coffee flavour in cakes and I suppose this cake is only gently coffee flavoured - if you're a coffee lover I think the flavour could definitely be ramped up to please you, but it was still quite nice. As mentioned above, the texture was really light and moist and I felt that the ratio of buttercream to cake was just right - enough to add moisture and richness and interest but not so much that it was sickly or oversweet at all. I couldn't detect any chocolate flavour at all, but wasn't really surprised about this. I guess it might have added depth of flavour to the coffee, along with the muscovado sugar but this is not a chocolate lovers cake!


Suelle said...

This looks delicious, C!

I'd guess that the small amount of water used to dissolve the coffee has some impact on the lightness. It's not often done these days, but my mother always added a tablespoon or two of milk to a Victoria Sandwich sponge mixture.

Brownieville Girl said...

Looks lovely!

I love coffee cake.

Lucie said...

This looks wonderful. I haven't made coffee cake for ages - you have put me in the mood :)

Rhyleysgranny said...

That cake is gorgeous. Love coffee and chocolate together in a cake.

Joanna said...

Ah - admiring glances here for sure ! A real coffee cake, not one of those cakes called 'coffee cake' which has blueberries in it. That used to confuse me a lot, till I realised it meant a cake to share with friends in other parts of the english speaking world. That looks so beautiful. I don't think I have ever made one like that, coffee and walnut is the one I make very occasionally and that is much heavier than your wisper light one here - just gorgeous and inspiring C !

Unknown said...

looks so delicious I love anything with coffee in it!... great blog... I found you through 'just add yeast' and I love your posts and photo's... hope you can join in our sourdough journey x

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Such an elegant looking cut piece, C! I don't think I've ever made a coffee-flavoured cake before, but this one would certainly tempt me! Hmm...and I have all the ingredients on hand too.. ;-)

Maria♥ said...

I love coffee and walnut cake. It looks so lovely and delish!


Chele said...

Delicious looking cake. I'm like you on the coffee front but sometimes you just need that wee coffee jolt!

Caroline said...

Suelle - thanks! I guess it could be the added liquid - I occasionally add a little water to a cake batter if it seems too stiff so I suppose added liquid helps.

Brownieville Girl, Lucie, Rhyleysgranny - thanks!

Joanna - Glad you like it. Coffee cake always used to confuse when used as an American expression too - when I refer to coffee cake I mean cake with coffee in it!!!

Dom - thanks, glad you like the blog!

Celia - I'm sure you could make something just as photogenic!

Maria - thank you!

Chele - coffee is just an occasional craving for me, now satisfied for the time being!

Alicia Foodycat said...

It looks beautiful! I love coffee and never really understand when people say they don't like it. I am inspired to make a coffee cake now!


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