There are days when only cake is the answer and today was one of them. We were craving a coffee cake but I didn't want to break new recipe boundaries or have an unexpected baking fail. And so, out of a desire for something familiar with just a little bit of an unexpected twist, came this Coffee and Chocolate Layer Cake. After all, doesn't coffee and chocolate trump straight chocolate every time?
This cake is a variation on my Easy Chocolate Cake recipe and as you know, I'm a great fan of having a relatively small repertoire of recipes and adapting and tweaking them endlessly to make yourself appear to be quite the domestic goddess. Or god.
So what can I tell you about this gorgeous cake?
The cake is a basic sponge, using the classic ingredients of margarine (yes, really - I favour it over butter in sponges, not least because I can use it straight from the fridge!), caster sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, self-raising flour and golden syrup. And the coffee frosting, well here is where I went slightly off-piste. I'm a fan of a cream cheese frosting - I use it on these Carrot Cakes, in this Lemon Layer Cake and to fill these Lemon Butterfly Cakes - and I wanted to make a coffee version to give new life to my chocolate cake.
You don't need to ask me twice to make an espresso, either to drink or to use in a recipe (remember these Affogatos?) but too much liquid in frosting is troublesome so I hesitated. Then I remembered that I had a jar of espresso powder that I had last used for these Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream Sandwiches. It's much more finely ground than instant coffee and doesn't need water adding to it to impart flavour. Bingo! I added 2 tablespoons of espresso powder to my regular cream cheese frosting recipe and it was a triumph.
Here's why I think you'll love this Coffee and Chocolate Layer Cake -
- It's easy to make - this is entry-level baking and I'm always a fan of that.
- It's also a quick cake to bake - no fussy techniques or twiddles here. Plus, if you make the frosting while the cake is baking, you are being super efficient with your time.
- It cuts easily - these things matter!
- You get to use up some of the espresso powder languishing in your cupboard - I don't like having an ingredient that I only use for one recipe, so if you made the Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream Sandwiches you'll be glad that the espresso powder gets another outing.
- It travels nicely - this slice is going to be part of an after school in-car snack at pick-up time. This may make up for a rubbish day of exams ...
- It tastes really delicious - just add a coffee, a glass of milk, a glass of wine ...
- It keeps really well - 3 days after baking it is still great. We talked about maybe freezing the rest for another time but decided that neither of us had bored of it yet.
I really think that this is a cake you can make on a whim and then sit back to soak up the adulation of your fans. Go ahead - make their day!Print