While we’re self isolating and Mr S is working from home sometimes he likes to have something with a cuppa to keep him going on an afternoon. Last week’s Victoria Sponge had been eaten and he doesn’t really like gingerbread like the gingerbread loaf I made the day before. So on Sunday morning I planned on making Mr S a coffee and walnut cake. There is a recipe for Coffee and Walnut Cake in Amazing Cakes and comes under the Classic Cakwes chapter. I know that this is one of my husband’s favourites.
I got all the ingredients out but then realised the half finished packet of walnuts I needed to use was past its best before date. I wasn’t going to risk it and put it in the cake but I had chocolate coated coffee beans to decorate the top of the cake instead of walnut halves.The sponge itself is a standard coffee sponge made using the creaming method. Although I use Camp Coffee Essence when making my coffee cakes, this one was made with strong, fresh espresso coffee.
When it came to icing the cake, I had to change the flavour slightly as I didn’t have enough plain icing sugar. I had to do half Silver Spoon and half Sugar and Crumbs’ Salted Caramel flavour icing sugar. This was the nearest flavour icing sugar I thought would complement the coffee flavour.
The layers were sandwiched together with half of the buttercream. I spread another thin layer of buttercream on top of the cake and then piped the rest as a swirl decorative effecet around the rest of the cake as well as in the middle with my star shaped nozzle.
Mr S had a slice with his cup of tea on Sunday afternoon while we were watching a film.
Love Sam xx
As I mentioned in my previous post Lemon Cupcakes, I was baking a couple of treats to take back into work for our first day of re-opening after lockdown. To go along with the lemon cupcakes, I wanted to make a whole cake in a contrasting flavour.
I thought about a nice, classic Coffee and Walnut Cake but being as my workplace is a nursery I didn’t want to take anything with nuts in. Instead I found half a packet of Sugar and Crumbs Toffee Mocha icing sugar left over from when I made ice cream with it back in May. This, I thought would go perfectly with a coffee flavoured sponge.
I also had some chocolate sprinkles which would make a perfect alternative decoration to either walnuts or coffee cocoa beans.
CHOCOLATE MOCHA LATTE CAKE
You will need two 18cm/ 7″ diameter loose bottom sandwich tins which are greased and lined.
1 tbsp espresso coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water and mixed to a paste
175g Stork or softened, unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
3 large, free range eggs
For the icing:
100g softened butter
250g Sugar and Crumbs Toffee Mocha Icing sugar
4 tbsp hot water
Chocolate decorations or sprinkles
- Grease and line the two sandwich tins. I use pre-cut baking parchment circles bought from Lakeland as a shortcut!
- Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/ 160oC fan/ 350oF / Gas Mark 4.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Spoon carefully into the tins ensuring you have an equal quantity of mixture in each tin.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done if it springs back when touched.
- Let the cakes cool in the tins for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- While the cake is cooling, make up the icing.
- Whisk the butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar bit by bit, then add in the water. You should get a spreading consistency.
- Spread half the mixture on top of one of the cakes. Put the other cake on top of it, then spread the remaining icing on the top of that. Decorate the top with the chocolate sprinkles.
Love Sam xx
It’s my husband’s birthday today. It’s always very difficult when there’s a birthday during the week. How do some people manage to have the day off when it’s their birthday, I don’t know. It never works out that way for me. The same goes for my hubby. We celebrated over the weekend by going out for a meal and being treated to a tour of a local craft brewery and vineyard. Yesterday we gave him his birthday presents and I baked him a cake. Mr SmartCookieSam doesn’t have a sweet tooth but he likes fruit cake, carrot cake and coffee cake. This year I chose to make him a coffee cake as I had some Coffee Nut M&Ms as well as a tub of chocolate covered coffee beans to use up.
Yesterday I had a helper in the kitchen- my mum! She had come up to stay for the weekend and offered to do the washing up! She loves baking herself, when she gets chance.
I bought these Coffee Nut M&Ms when I was in Canada last September. I’ve not seen this flavour before and thought they would be great to bake with. I actually bought two packs but the fairies had been at them and I could only find one packet in the cupboard! Funny how my son said they tasted disgusting so it must’ve been him who troughed them!
To get the coffee flavour in the cake I had to mix two tablespoonfuls of coffee powder with a tablespoonful of water. This made a great paste.
I use the all in one method for my sponges wherever possible so I put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl at the same time. I used Pure Dairy Free Baking Spread as it makes really light sponges, caster sugar, self raising flour, baking powder and free range eggs.
I had to buy a new electric mixer before Christmas and it got another outing this afternoon beating the sponge mixture together.
I then folded in the coffee paste so that it was evenly blended. Then the cake mixture was ready to be divided between two greased and lined sandwich cake tins. I used 20cm/ 8″ diameter ones. My mum had very kindly greased the tins for me. I use ready made parchment circles as they are so much less faff than drawing round the tin and cutting out the circles from a roll of baking parchment. Once the cakes had been divided equally between the tins they went straight into the oven and baked for 20-25 minutes at 160oC.
The M&Ms and chocolate covered cocoa beans I used to decorate the top of the cake with.
To prepare the coffee buttercream for the cake I needed some butter but it was a bit hard despite being out of the fridge for a couple of hours. I cut the butter up into cubes and gave it a quick blast in the microwave for about 20 seconds to take the edge off it.
Here are the finished cakes cooling on the rack. One of them had slightly cracked on it as I had poked the top of them to check if they had been cooked and whether the sponge bounced back when touched. At that time it didn’t, until I had put it back in the oven for another five minutes!
Making the buttercream was simple in that the butter was creamed first, then milk and some more coffee paste was added. Finally I carefully added some icing sugar bit by bit to the mixture. It still didn’t stop the puffs of icing sugar clouds descending all over the work top!
The cake was decorated simply by spreading half the coffee buttercream on the top of one of the cakes and then putting the second one on top. The remainder of the top was spread on the cake with a pallette knife. To finish off I put the coffee M&Ms and cocoa beans around the edge of the cake.
Mr SmartCookieSam had some champagne bottle candles on his cake. Very fitting as we had been to a vineyard tour the day before.
We lit the candles and had a piece of birthday cake with a cup of tea yesterday afternoon. The cake was delicious and there was plenty left over for Mr SmartCookieSam to take to work the next day.
Love Sam xx
As my regular SmartCookieSam readers will know, I’m a member of the internationally renowned Clandestine Cake Club. Although there are plenty of events held all over the world and some very local to me in North Yorkshire, there are also virtual or VCake events for those who can’t get to an event. Or you can join them if you want an excuse to bake!
At the end of January, Lynn Hill the founder of the Clandestine Cake Club held a virtual event where you were invited to “dust off your old cookbooks” and bake something from a recipe book you had not used for a while.
I have loads of recipe books like that and my family are sick of all the books I have all over the house. Some are more used than others and Lynn’s event gave me the perfect excuse to search through my stash and bake something. When my Nana Mary (my Mum’s mum) died I inherited her cookbooks. Nana and I were so alike in lots of ways, we both loved cooking and baking, knitting and sewing and also reading books. Sadly Nana died in 1994, just after I’d sat my teaching degree finals. She used to collect recipes from everywhere and wrote them down from TV cookery programmes or from the radio as well as cutting recipes out of magazines.
One of Nana’s baking books was a Sainsbury’s one. It dates from the late 1980’s and I loved looking through the recipes in it. As I decided what to bake I came across a mouthwatering recipe for a coffee sponge. I never remember Nana baking a coffee sponge, she tended to make fruit cakes and I do remember her lemon drizzle cake.
Mr SmartCookieSam’s birthday is at the end of January so it was a perfect opportunity to bake the coffee cake for then. My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth but he loves coffee cake. I had a couple of goodies to make this cake even extra special: some Sugar and Crumbs Coffee flavour Natural icing sugar, some cocoa covered coffee beans bought in Costa coffee and some glittery gold and silver star candles thrown in the trolley when I was shopping in Tesco.
The coffee sponge was made using the whisking method. I whisked eggs and sugar together until they became light and fluffy. Then in went some flour and baking powder, followed by a spoonful of vegetable oil and some semi skimmed milk. Also added to the mixture to give it a coffee flavour was a teaspoonful of Monin Tiramisu sugar syrup.
The cake baked for about 20-25 minutes and rose beautifully in the oven. It smelled delicious. When it was cooling I made up the coffee buttercream. I also crushed up some pecan nuts to go in the middle of the cake and to sprinkle on the top of it.
The cake was layered together with the coffee buttercream and sprinkled with chopped pecan nuts in the middle and on the top of the cake. I used a packet of cocoa covered coffee beans to decorate the top as well.
We had a slice of birthday cake and it was delicious. What a treat to celebrate Mr SmartCookieSam’s birthday and he really enjoyed it.
Love Sam xx