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.

Sticky Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake – Dan Lepard

I wasn’t happy with yesterday’s Lemon Cakeprobably because I altered Delia Smith’s recipe from Cakes. So today I baked a Sticky Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake from Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet. (There is also a recipe on the internet, where the quantities are different.) I followed the recipe in the book with the small alteration of separating the eggs and folding in the stiffly beaten whites.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Dilemma!

For the fifth Concert at Cratfield I planned a new Carrot Cake recipe, only the concert goers were not keen on my moist Carrot Cake, bursting with carrots, raisins and walnuts, the lemon glaze cutting through the sweetness of the cake … So, I need to try something else. Lemon Drizzle Cake is often mentioned so I consulted Food Blog Search and found 1,900,000 entries! Tastespotting has only 34 entries – I’ll start there. There are several decisions for this cake: shape, appearance (decoration), and recipe (poppy seeds?polenta?almonds?) I will need more than one cake – help, Friends?!

Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Shapes of Cakes

I am working on The Cake Book and thinking about the shapes of cakes, and my cakes tins.

The Three Ginger Cake is ready, recipe and shape, and I am going to include an adapted version of Dan Lepard’s Orange CakeBoth use the same cake tin in different ways – the ‘tins’ are silicone moulds and are easy to use. However, neither recipe has a ‘dedicatee’ yet – is there such a word?

Three Ginger Cake
Three Ginger Cake

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