Recipe Number One Hundred & Twenty Two: Page 42.
Before the start of this challenge I'd never made a coffee cake. I had it in my head that they were unfashionable and a little dated. I honestly didn't believe I'd like them, so I never made them! Mary Berry, however, seems to be quite fond of coffee cake and there are a plenty of recipe variations throughout the Baking Bible. This means that I've been forced to have a go and actually give the cake a fair trial. After making my first coffee cake several months ago, I was very surprised to find out that I absolutely adore coffee cake! This is why I am enjoying my little challenge so much. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to all the different and wonderful flavours and ideas.
I needed to go and do some food shopping so, in the morning, we went into town and got what was needed. We of course found time for my little boy’s favourite activity, the swings! We even managed to go and explore a soft play centre. Of course I couldn't resist the bouncy castle, even though Isaac wasn't particularly fussed! We arrived home at lunchtime. I wondered why my legs ached and then I realised that I hadn't sat down for nearly five hours. When Isaac was tucked up in bed I went to make a start on the cake. I wouldn't allow myself to sit down until after it was made!
I found the start of the recipe to be different to what I had become used to. Usually the coffee granules are dissolved in a tiny amount of water and then everything gets chucked into a bowl and mixed. On this occasion, I had to break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them with a fork before adding the coffee granules. After a few minutes of stirring, the granules dissolved and I ended up with a mixture that, I have to say, certainly didn't look very nice! Despite its bad looks it smelt heavenly and made me fancy a mug of hot coffee; I was soon reaching for the kettle! Things were soon back on track, as I just needed to add the butter, sugar and flour. I brought out the might of my trusty hand whisk and gave everything a good mix. When the mixture was smooth and well combined I spooned it into my two sandwich tins and placed them in the oven.
While the cakes cooked I enjoyed licking out the bowl and then washed up. I really used to miss this perk when I was pregnant (licking out the bowl, NOT doing the washing up)!! After 25 minutes I retrieved the cakes from the oven. One of them had risen in a rather lopsided manner but the other had risen perfectly; this would be the top piece! I left them in their tins for a few minutes and then tipped them out onto wire racks to cool.
Now came the not so enjoyable part of making the buttercream. Don't get me wrong; I love eating buttercream, but I just wish icing sugar wasn't so 'dusty'! I tipped the loathsome icing sugar into a bowl with a small amount of butter and whisked it together with a tablespoon of coffee essence and a splash of milk. I whisked for a while to make sure it was light and fluffy. I didn't seem to have much buttercream to sandwich the two cakes together as well as smooth over the top. Having said that copious amounts can make a cake very sickly. Perhaps it was better to be a little sparing. The cake looked a good size; I cut into it and took a generous slice. As it was such a well risen cake, the slice was larger than I'd at first anticipated. Even I couldn't eat it all – don't worry I made sure I finished it off later! The cake was light and moist. I think it was just a little overdone around the edges; I should have taken them out of the oven maybe two or three minutes sooner. The coffee certainly wasn't shy; the cake had a good strong flavour. The buttercream was lovely and light and again the coffee sang out. I wondered if I'd soon be on a caffeine induced high! My mum is coming up to visit and I just know how pleased she will be to have a large slice of this ready for her arrival. She is a big coffee cake fan! All in all it was a fantastically easy cake to make; it tastes rather splendid too, hooray!
|Fancy a slice?! ;-)|