It is Mothering Sunday when mothers the land over should be spoiled and pampered....before returning to the more normal state of affairs tomorrow!
The CCM’s favourite cake flavouring by far is coffee. When I looked back over my previous coffee bakes they have all been sponge and some sort of buttercream. Time for something a little different. But not that different as these are sponge too!
I added a chocolate ganache and put some of the coffee syrup into this to provide an extra coffee hit. My top tip for coating cakes in ganache is to place tin foil under the wrack so that, when you’re clearing up, all you have to do is scrunch up the foil rather than scrub your work top clean.
Using brown sugar gave an interesting extra taste and it worked really well. Coffee is bitter and the brown sugar gave it an almost caramel-y toffee edge that sweetened it but left it unmistakably coffee.
Some more of the coffee syrup went into lightly whipped cream to serve alongside the cakes. When I create a coffee cake I really put coffee into it!
For the sponge:
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
4 tablespoons boiling water
180g soured cream
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
165g soft brown sugar
310g self raising flour
For the coffee syrup (this will make enough to brush over the cakes, use in the ganache and the whipped cream):
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules
330g soft brown sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
250g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
300ml double cream (have extra on standby should it be needed to get the thickness you want)
3 tablespoons of the coffee syrup (recipe above)
Method- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ fan oven 160˚C /350˚F/Gas mark 4.
- Have ready 12 mini loaf pans each one with a capacity of 250ml. You could use a cupcake pan but will probably get many more – 24 I should imagine. You can grease the tin but I didn’t and my cakes turned out fine. Make a judgement on how ‘non stick’ you think your pans are!
- Start by making the cakes: dissolve the coffee into the hot water and stir until there are no lumps.
- Allow to cool, then stir in the soured cream. Put to one side.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined and light. It won’t go fluffy because the brown sugar is a heavy and granular sugar.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Fold in the flour in three batches, alternating with the soured cream coffee mixture.
- Spoon into the tins and level the surface.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine sank a little on removing from the oven but this had no effect on the lightness of the sponge.
- About 10 minutes before the cooking time is up make the coffee syrup: Place all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved – you can tell this by looking at the back of your spoon; no crystals? It’s dissolved.
- Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
- Brush some coffee syrup over the straight-from-the-oven cakes. If you want a wet, rum baba style cake use most of the syrup. I didn’t, so brushed each cake three times with some syrup barely using half.
- Leave the cakes to cool completely in their tins before turning out. At this point they will keep in an airtight container for three days.
- On the day of serving make the ganache: place the cream and coffee syrup into a saucepan over a medium heat and bring it just to the boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Use a whisk to ensure the chocolate melts.
- At this point you have a choice: continue whisking if you want a fluffy, thick whipped chocolate ganache. I wanted a thick but runny ganache to spoon over my cakes like a glaze so stopped whisking. If the ganache is too thick to run over the cakes whisk in a dash more cream.
- Spoon over the cakes and allow to run over the edges. My tip for avoiding lots of mess is place the cakes on a wire rack over a sheet of foil. Any drips will land on the foil and you can simply throw this away.
- Let set for 20 minutes or so before placing your chosen decoration on top.
- Serve with lightly whipped cream – add some of the coffee syrup to the cream if you wish.
- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.