I had originally planed to bake one for my younger niece Falbala, but she put in a killer shift at her work place on her birthday and spent most of the next day sleeping, so I didn't. I'd planned a really elaborate cake for her, and I'll have to make it at some point. But as I had to make a cake for Roger, I decided to try and stick to the same theme as Falbala's cake, just simplify it, since I had to make it during the working week.
Thus came about the idea of making a cake sponge which was coffee flavoured and almost black to be covered with lovely white chocolate, a bit like a latte in cake form basically. And I had a coffee cake recipe which needed to be sorted out. Noting that I found the recipe and made it back in 2008, I've come a long way since and learned loads about baking and there is absolutely no surprise at all on why this failed at the time. But it also meant I couldn't use the full recipe for Roger's cake.
Instead I did what I usually do and google and go for the pretty picture or a baker that I can trust. This time it was Mary Berry's easy chocolate cake. With modifications to incorporate the coffee masala elements.
some butter and flour for preparing the cake tin
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp instant coffee
110 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
115 g dark muscovado sugar
1 dl golden syrup
2 large eggs
25 g cocoa powder
- Place the spices and the instant coffee in a mortar and pestle and grind down as finely as possible.
- Butter and dust a 20 cm cake tin with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C fan.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- Put all ingredients together and beat with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until well combined and homogeneous.
- Transfer the batter into the cake tin and level out with a spatula or a spoon. Make a shallow well in the middle to prevent it from bulging into a volcano.
- Bake for an hour until a skewer stuck in the middle of it comes out dry.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a drying rack and allow to cool down completely.
- Slice in two just before decorating, so it doesn't dry out.
221 g white chocolate
98 g double cream at 47.5% fat
- Chop the white chocolate finely and carefully melt in the microwave in 10 second intervals and stirring between each.
- Scald the cream, then pour into the chocolate mixture and stir well, then leave to set for about an hour or for 30 minutes in the fridge to speed things up.
- Use some of this ganache to spread a 1 cm thick layer between the two parts of the cake sponge.
- Use the remaining ganache as a crumb layer to cover the whole cake and stop any crumbs coming through to the glazing.
- Place the cake onto a roasting rack, which is on top of a baking tray.
200 g white chocolate
1 tsp of Mycryo freeze-dried cocoa butter
100 g double cream at 47.5% fat
white chocolate buttons
- Chop the chocolate finely, place in a plastic bowl and melt in the microwave in 10 second intervals and stir between each burst.
- Check the chocolate temperature, it should be between 40 and 45 °C.
- Keep stirring carefully and measure the temperature until it has reached 33 - 34 °C. Stir in the Mycryo to temper the chocolate.
- Scald the cream, then let it cool down to 33 - 34 ° as well, before stirring into the tempered chocolate.
- As soon as the tempered ganache has come together, pour it over the cake and make sure it runs smoothly over the sides and covers the whole cake.
- Leave on the rack to set completely, then carefully prize off the rack and transfer to the display plate.
- If the edge still isn't smooth, cover with a row of small white chocolate buttons.
The cake sponge tasted quite strongly of coffee, not sweet at all, but combined with the white chocolate, this balanced quite well and the whole cake disappeared quite quickly, Roger grabbed the last piece for his drive home.