Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coffee sandwich cake

My cake repertoire is pretty limited, so when my sister Annie said she'd like me to help her make a cake to take to her birthday party I was pleased both to be able to spend some time with her and to expand my range of cakes. Annie decided she wanted to make a coffee cake so I had a look on the internet and found a suitable recipe on the BBC. Needless to say, we didn't follow it to the letter (for the simple reason that I don't have an electric mixer at present), so the main change was to replace the use of the mix with conservative use of a bain marie together with a bit of stirring and whisking. The result was surprisingly successful, and another reminder of how easy it is to become over-dependent on technology. (If you want to see the original recipe, you can find it here.)



150g caster sugar
150g butter or margarine
3 eggs
150g self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 coffee cup of espresso coffee

225g icing sugar
100g butter or margarine
strawberry jam


The cake
  1. Preheat the oven at 160C, 325 F,gas 3. Line the bottom of a medium-sized springform cake tin (8") with greaseproof paper and grease the bottom and sides.
  2. Add the sugar and the butter to a bowl, heat very gently in a bain marie (by placing the bowl in a large saucepan with some water at the bottom), and once the butter has softened mix very well with a fork or a whisk.
  3. Beat the eggs with a fork and then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour each time, mixing with a whisl. Make sure you don't use all the flour.
  4. Add the rest of the flour and the baking powder to the mixture and whisk it in gently.
  5. Add half of the coffee to the mixture, and whisk it in. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minute.
The icing
  1. Meanwhile repeat the bain marie process with the butter and the icing sugar, and mix very well with a fork.
  2. Gradually add the remaining coffee to the butter and icing sugar.

Putting the cake together
  1. When the cake is done, allow it to cool for 20 minutes or so, and carefully remove it from its tin. With a large, sharp knife (an 8" cook's knife, for example), carefully cut the cake in half, crosswise, so you have two, equally sized cakes.
  2. Place one of the halves cut side up on a plate, and spread with plenty of jam. (4-6 tablespoons)
  3. Gently place the other half cut side down on top of the jammy half, then cover it with the icing. Leave to cool in the fridge.
For Annie
I haven't included a picture of Annie in this post for the very simple reason that she didn't want me to. I just hope you enjoy the cake as much as I enjoyed making it with you. Happy birthday.

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