coffee

Coffee, Chocolate and Cardamom Cake

Moist coffee and hazelnut sponge, rich cardamom-spiked ganache and smooth espresso buttercream make up this delicious twist on an old favourite; I love the classic combination of coffee and chocolate (painfully predictable- I am addicted to both caffeine and cacao) but the cardamom adds a welcome aroma of spice which makes this cake an altogether more decadent one than your standard coffee and walnut. Enjoy on an Autumnal evening for a proper grown-up treat.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 350g softened butter
  • 250g soft light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 350g self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 12 cardamom pods, emptied and ground
  • 4tbsp coffee granules mixed with 3tbsp boiling water
  • 3tbsp milk
  • 100g chopped hazelnuts

For the cardamom ganache:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
  • 8 cardamom pods, cracked open

For the coffee buttercream:

  • 200g softened butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2tbsp boiling water
  • 2-3tbsp milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
  2. For the coffee hazelnut sponge, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) and cream together until pale and thick. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition to ensure the ingredients are well combined (add about 1tbsp of the flour with each egg if you’re worried about curdling).
  3. Next fold in the flour, salt and ground cardamom with a large metal spoon then finally stir in the coffee, milk and hazelnuts.
  4. Split the cake batter between the prepared tins and level off. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  5. While the cakes are baking make the chocolate cardamom ganache. Place the cream and cracked cardamom pods in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then switch off and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up the chocolate and tip into a jug. Once the cream and cardamom has infused place back on the heat, bring to the boil then pour it over the chocolate through a sieve (to catch the cardamom pods). Let the cream melt the chocolate for a couple of minutes then stir to create a smooth ganache. Set aside for later.
  6. Now make the buttercream. To do this just cream together the butter and icing sugar with either electric beaters or a stand mixer with paddle attachment until very light and pale (about 10 minutes). Now add the milk and coffee and beat again to combine.
  7. Once the cakes are baked leave to cool completely in the tins, then turn out and slice each in half horizontally (leaving you with four layers).
  8. To assemble the cake stack up the layers sandwiched with chocolate cardamom ganache. Cover the whole cake in the coffee buttercream and decorate with piped buttercream peaks and a dusting of espresso powder.

Enjoy!

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Coffee and Cardamom Cakes with Pistachio Praline

Coffee cake is one of my all time favourites, but this spin on a classic is perhaps even better (I know, big claim). The cardamom hum in the sponge goes really well with the simple coffee buttercream, and the crunch of earthy pistachio praline rounds off the overall flavour and prevents it from being overly sweet. Make these for any occasion (you can fool people into thinking they’re fancy with the help of a piping bag and edible flowers) and they are sure to go down a storm.

Ingredients:

  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 8 cardamom pods, emptied and ground
  • 3tbsp coffee granules mixed with 3tbsp boiling water
  • 3tbsp milk

For the buttercream:

  • 200g softened butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp coffee granules mixed with 2tbsp boiling water

For the praline:

  • 100g pistachios
  • 100g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c. Grease and line a brownie tin (around 20x20cm).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the flour, salt and ground cardamom and fold in until well combined. Do the same with the coffee and milk.
  3. Once your straightforward batter is ready, spoon into the tin and level off. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin.
  4. While the cake is cooling, make the praline. Place the sugar and pistachios in a heavy bottom pan and allow the sugar to melt (don’t stir, just tip the pan to move the sugar around). Once it’s melted and golden, swirl the pan to coat the nuts in the caramel then tip onto some greaseproof paper and leave to set hard.
  5. Now make your buttercream. Beat the butter until light then gradually add the icing sugar, whisking until very light. Add in the coffee and whisk again to combine. Once it’s streak free and smooth, pile into a piping bag ready to decorate.
  6. Slice the cooled cake into nine squares (or larger/smaller pieces depending on your appetite!). Pipe the coffee buttercream on top in little kisses (or freestyle with rosettes/patterns using different nozzles). Break up the praline and roughly crush then sprinkle a generous helping on top of the buttercream.

Enjoy!

 

 

Coffee Hazelnut Cake with Mascarpone Icing

Intense, rich, drag-me-out-of-bed coffee; yep, it’s the lonely hero of many a dark January morning, and for me, my second favourite cake flavour (after chocolate…duh). If you too trust in the caffeine hit, are partial to a slab of cake and have fallen off the health wagon you should definitely try out this recipe- the loaf format looks a bit different and the hazelnuts pair really well with the strong coffee flavour which is delivered in the sponge, frosting and espresso drizzle.

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Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 225g soft butter
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3tbsp strong instant coffee

For the espresso soak:

  • 3-4 tbsp strong instant coffee
  • 1tbsp caster sugar

For the filling/decoration:

  • 600g icing sugar
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 200g soft butter
  • 2tbsp strong instant coffee
  • handful chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Optional: espresso powder and coffee beans

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Method:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 160c and grease/line a large loaf tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs in one at a time, whisking well in between each addition to ensure they are well incorporated (you can add a little of the flour if you’re worried about curdling).
  4. Once the eggs have been added sift in the flour, salt and baking powder. Fold into the mix then add the instant coffee and stir. Scrape the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 30-35 minutes (or until golden brown and cooked all the way through- a skewer should come out clean with a few crumbs attached when inserted).
  5. Allow the cake to cool in the tin while you make the frosting and soak.
  6. For the frosting, place the butter, mascarpone and instant coffee in a bowl (or again, use a stand mixer) and whisk until light, well combined and fluffy. Now gradually add the icing sugar whilst mixing on a slow speed. Once all the icing sugar has been added increase the speed and keep whisking until you have a spreadable, light and smooth icing. Set aside.
  7. For the soak simply mix together the coffee and sugar. Take your cooling loaf cake and slice in half horizontally. Prick holes in the surface of each piece and drizzle the soak all over, allow it to sink in. Set aside until completely cool.
  8. Once the cake is completely cool spread a generous amount of mascarpone icing across the bottom layer along with a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Sandwich on the top sponge and cover the outside edges in the remaining icing. If you like, you can use a flat piping nozzle to create a ripple look, then top with more hazelnuts and some espresso powder.

Enjoy!

New Year Croquembouche: Salted Chocolate and Coffee

I can’t decide if this looks impressive or a complete mess (I’ll let you choose); either way, it’s a delicious tower of salted dark chocolate and coffee cream profiteroles decorated with coffee nib white chocolate shards and gold shimmer spray- the perfect look-at-me centre piece!

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Ingredients (makes enough profiteroles to cover a 30cm cone):

For the choux pastry:

  • 6 eggs
  • 170g butter
  • 440ml water
  • 210g plain flour

For the coffee profiteroles:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 3tbsp espresso coffee
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar

For the dark chocolate profiteroles:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1-2tsp sea salt
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar

For the white chocolate shards:

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 1tsp espresso powder
  • 2tsp coffee beans

Extras: 20-30cm cardboard cone, gold shimmer spray, edible glitter

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c and grease 2 large baking trays. Sift the flour onto a piece of baking paper.
  2. Place the butter and water in a saucepan and gently melt together. Once melted bring to the boil and tip in the flour all in one go. Mix rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and looks glossy. Place in a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Break up your eggs in a jug then gradually whisk into the cooled butter mixture until it reaches a dropping consistency (where it drops off a spoon after about 5 seconds).
  4. Pile the choux into a piping bag and pipe even piles onto the greased baking trays (leaving room for expansion). If they have little points just tap them down with a wet finger to create an even shape.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and well risen then poke a hole in each one with a skewer. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to dry out then cool on a wire rack.

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  1. Make the fillings- for the coffee filling, whisk together the cream, coffee and icing sugar until soft peaks form. For the chocolate, whisk together the cream and icing sugar in a separate bowl.
  2. Melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate in heatproof bowls over pans of simmering water.
  3. Once the profiteroles have cooled, fill half with coffee cream (using a fine nozzled piping bag) and half with the sweet cream (in the same way).
  4. If you would like to decorate with white chocolate shards, now is a good time to make those. Simply melt the white chocolate and spread over a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle with espresso powder and beans and set until solid and breakable.
  5. By this time, the chocolate should’ve cooled a little. Dip the coffee filled profiteroles in milk chocolate and the sweet cream ones in the dark. Sprinkle the dark chocolate pastries with sea salt.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble. Take your cone and cover it with any leftover melted chocolate. Stack up the profiteroles layer by layer to cover the cone completely. You may need to wait a few minutes between layers to allow the profiteroles to set.
  7. Finish with the shards and a spray of glitter.

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Happy New year!

Two Quick and Easy Traybakes

Traybakes tend to be quick, delicious and easy, making them popular with bakers (and eaters) of all abilities…

With this in mind I thought I would share two of my go to recipes with you this weekend; my fruity flapjacks with chocolate topping and gooey brownies with mascarpone coffee icing. Both are super simple but really tasty, especially when partnered with a cup of tea and a good Sunday afternoon film!

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So, to make my chocolate brownies with coffee icing, you will need: 200g dark chocolate, 140g butter, drop of vanilla extract, 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, 70g plain flour, 250g mascarpone, 1tbsp soft light brown sugar, 2tsp espresso, cocoa for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan) and line a brownie tray with greaseproof paper.

Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently melt. Set aside to cool for a minute or two once melted.

Once slightly cooled, add the caster sugar and whisk with an electric whisk until a little paler. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue whisking until fully incorporated. Fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared tray and bake for 25-35 minutes until cracked on top and gooey but firm in the centre.

Cool on a wire rack.

Whilst the brownie is cooling, beat together the mascarpone, coffee and sugar until smooth. When the brownie is completely cool, spread with the icing and dust with cocoa powder, then slice into squares and serve.

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To make these flapjacks, you will need: 350g porridge oats, 170g golden syrup, 170g light brown soft sugar, 150g butter, 30g peanut butter, 1tsp cinnamon, handful raisins, handful dried figs, handful crushed hazelnuts, 100g dark chocolate, 100g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan) and line a square tin with greaseproof paper.

Melt the syrup, sugar, butter and peanut butter together in a saucepan.

Pour the oats into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon, raisins, dried figs, and hazelnuts. Pour in the melted buttery mixture until well combined then press into the prepared square tin. Level off with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.

While the flapjack is cooling, melt the chocolates in separate bowls over pans of simmering water. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.

Pour the chocolate (dark and white) over the flapjack and swirl with a kebab stick to make a marbled effect. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set then slice into squares.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Mocha Loaf Cake

Yep, it’s another loaf cake, only this time I’ve combined the classic flavours of coffee and chocolate to form a colour mix up sponge. Quick, easy and delicious, this would make a perfect tea time treat or would be fun to bake with children on a rainy day.

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To make this easy-to-slice cake, you will need:

275g butter, 275g caster sugar, 275g self raising flour, 3tsp baking powder, 5 eggs, 3tbsp milk, 4tsp strong espresso, 4tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 2tbsp boiling water, 2tbsp icing sugar mixed with a little water, 50g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan) and grease and line a loaf tin.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the flour and baking powder along with the eggs a little at a time (being sure it doesn’t curdle).

Add the milk to the bowl and mix with an electric whisk (or large spoon) until smooth. Half this mix into two bowls.

To one bowl, add the espresso and stir. This will form the coffee sponge section of the cake.

In the other bowl, add the cocoa and mix. This is your chocolate section.

Take your prepared tin and dot the two mixes randomly, dappling occasionally with a fork or kebab stick to form a marble effect. Layer up the mixes until it’s all been used up, then even out and place in the oven.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

When a skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Take your water and icing sugar and mix up in a little bowl then melt your chocolate over a pan of simmering water.

When the cake is cool, drizzle the white icing and melted chocolate over the top and sprinkle with crushed digestives as a crunchy addition, if you like.

Enjoy!

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