And the second variety of cake for the last ‘Concert at Cratfield’ is Chocolate Guinness Cake which is based on Delia Smith’s Chocolate Beer Cake in her Book of Cakes. I covered the cake with a chocolate glaze of melted chocolate, beer, and cream. The taste is very good, with coffee, mixed spice, and cinnamon adding complexity to the beer and chocolate.
I am happy with the recipe, and the glaze has hardened, but the shape does not really show. Do I need a bundt tin with a more obvious shape? Or should I leave this cake uniced, with perhaps just a dusting of icing sugar?
There are two cakes because the first one stuck to the tin – I think I turned it upside down too soon – and so it has a rough chocolate and sour cream icing but you can see the texture – quite fine.
So where am I with this recipe? I like the recipe, but the shape is not sufficiently strongly defined, which means a new tin. And perhaps it is a cake which can be served in two ways – with a glaze which hardens, and with a dusting of icing sugar.
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.
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 Cakesand 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.
Geraldine Holt, Cakes, has 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.
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.
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?!
This weekend is the third Concert at Cratfield in the 2013 season and I am baking – starting with a Chocolate Beer Cake, based on Delia Smith’srecipe. I am adding spices, and I am experimenting with quantities because my tin is so big! The beer is Mucky Duck, made by Buffy’s Brewery and recommended by Roger, who owns The Poacher next door. (Fantastic beers in this pub, and the beers change all the time – well worth travelling to taste!)
Last weekend I tried Dan Lepard’s Double Espresso Brazil Nut Cake from his fabulous book Short and Sweet. I 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.