Coffee Cakes

Today is the last ‘Concert at Cratfield’ in the 2013-14 season and I think I have achieved a good-tasting Coffee Cake, although I am still not happy with the icing and filling.

Coffee Cakes, Dan Lepard
Coffee Cakes, Dan Lepard
Coffee Cakes, Dan Lepard
Coffee Cakes, Dan Lepard

The recipe is the Double Espresso Brazil Nut Cake from Dan Lepard‘s Short & Sweet. I am still not happy with the filling and icing. I used mascarpone cheese flavoured with coffee, but it made a very sloppy icing – perhaps it was the brand of mascarpone? I topped the mascarpone with a coffee glace icing.

Previously I used a Coffee Mousseline Icing from Delia Smith’s Book of Cakes and it was excellent, but very heavy on butter and egg yolks. The icing was also quite soft and not entirely suitable for a cake stall on a hot afternoon.

Coffee Cakes with Coffee Mousseline Icing
Coffee Cakes with Coffee Mousseline Icing

Geraldine Holt, Cakeshas an English Butter Cream which uses a hot liquid to melt the sugar crystals and no egg yolks – I could try that. Dan Lepard uses a Coffee Water Icing which, judging from the photograph in the book, looks quite ‘thick’. But I am reluctant to take his advice because I want something creamier…

Dan Lepard lists a Meringue Buttercream Icing which sounds very good. I think I need to decide the ‘look’ I am trying to achieve; the cupcakes are pretty; the coffee cake looks nice with the icing swirled on top; and then there is a smooth finish.

Cupcakes with Coffee Meringue Buttercream Icing
Cupcakes with Coffee Meringue Buttercream Icing
Coffee Cake with Meringue Butter Icing
Coffee Cake with Meringue Butter Icing
Coffee Chiffon Cake with Meringue Buttercream Icing
Coffee Chiffon Cake with Meringue Buttercream Icing

So where does this leave me? I like Dan Lepard’s recipe; I like the sandwich cake shape; a coffee mousseline butter icing makes a wonderful filling; and the meringue buttercream seems to give the best ‘finish’; and for a filling and covering without eggs I should try Geraldine Holt’s English Butter Cream. Or Nigel Slater has a recipe for Mascarpone icing which sounds ‘firmer’ and I could try another brand.

Dan Lepard’s Coffee Cake

Last weekend I tried Dan Lepard’s Double Espresso Brazil Nut Cake from his fabulous book Short and SweetI used Delia Smith’s Coffee Mousseline Icing from Delia Smith’s Book of Cakes as a filling and a coffee water icing (with a splash of lemon) over the top. The cake froze well and tastes very good – not too strong, but definitely coffee. It is soft, but not mushy, and it isn’t dry.

Dan Lepard's Espresso Brazil Nut Cake
Dan Lepard’s Espresso Brazil Nut Cake

Cakes for Concerts at Cratfield

And to partner the Ginger Cakes for the concert today, I made Coffee Cakes –

Coffee Cakes
Coffee Cakes