There are a few recipe books in my collection that I don’t think I could do without. One of my favs is The hummingbird bakery cookbook. Pretty much every recipe looks amazing and turns out that way too. I love this recipe for coffee cake from it. It has a great technique for making coffee essence that makes the cake and the icing properly taste of coffee. The first time I made this recipe most of the mixture spilled over the edge of the tin and into the bottom of the oven, I have since noticed the ingredient quantities are double that of similar cakes in the book using this size tin so I have written the following quantities based on half the recipe in the book which works really well.
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules.
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder plus extra to decorate
60g dark chocolate grated with a cheese grater into shavings
coffee beans (optional)
25cm ring mould greased and dusted with flour.
To make coffee essence, put the instant coffee granules and 150ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Boil until reduced by half, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Keep 45ml for the cake and the rest for the frosting.
Preheat the oven to 170c (335F) Gas 3
Put the butter, sugar and cold coffee essence in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix well until everything is combined and mixture is light and fluffy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared ring mould and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the sponge feels firm to touch. (do not open the oven while the cake is baking as it will sink) Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould before turning onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
This is my slightly adapted version for frosting with a really good coffee flavour:
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25ml coffee essence
Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk, add the coffee essence and whisk until light and fluffy.
Decorate the cake with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, chocolate shavings and coffee beans.