Today, I managed to develop an urgent craving for coffee cake. This happened while catching the bus when I spotted several advertisements for Weis 'Coffee and Almond' bars. You don't hear much of coffee and almond being used together but it got me thinking that this was probably a great combination.
It's extremely frustrating searching for coffee cake recipes. I mean to make a coffee-flavored cake; not a cake made to eat with coffee.
Luckily, I happened to have a coffee cake recipe stored away so I didn't need to rummage through Google search results. It's almost embarrassing how many recipes I have saved in text files for 'just in case', in a folder titled 'Recipes' T.T. Very organized.
Mostly what I have is weird recipes that I thought were interesting at the time and understandably never have ingredients for (e.g. beetroot brownies and tarragon cupcakes). The fact that there was 1 useful recipe out of the lot makes it all somehow worthwhile.
The coffee cake recipe I used is titled 'Coffee and Sour Cream Cake' from 'The Essential Baking Cookbook'. I didn't have sour cream so I substituted with natural yogurt. I divided the original recipe by 3 but I've published the full recipe here for you to alter to your liking. If you're baking a mini-loaf like me, you may need to reduce oven heat to 150 degrees to prevent burning.
Coffee and Almond Cake
Makes 5 or so squares
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 1/3 cup sour cream (I used natural yogurt)
- 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 tsp instant coffee powder
- 10g butter
- flaked almonds for layering
1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees; grease a non-stick loaf tin.
2) Cream butter and sugar in small bowl till light and fluffy. Add eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition.
3) Dissolve vanilla extract and coffee powder in about 1/2 tbsp of hot water. Add it to the butter mixture and beat until combined. I found that the butter sort of remained separated from the rest of the mixture so the whole thing wasn't very homogenized - this fixed itself when all the flour got incorporated.
4) Fold in sifted flours alternately with sour cream/yogurt. Stir until mixture is just combined and almost smooth (don't over-mix).5) Spoon mix into tin and smooth surface. Bake for 30-40min till an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave for 5min before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.6) For the icing, dissolve the coffee powder in 1-2 tbsp warm milk in a small bowl. Add the icing sugar and butter, mix well until combined.
7) Cut the cake to make level surfaces all over. Cut it into squares and in 1/2 horizontally.8)Sandwich 2 layers with a bit of icing and some flaked almond.9) Alternatively, you could cut the cake horizontally first and sandwich it. Coat the whole thing with more icing and then cut it into squares.
This cake turned out really well. It was moist and light and the coffee flavor was 'there' without being overwhelming. The almond flakes provided a nice crunch - next time, I'll make this with an almond-flavored icing instead because it's such a good match of flavors.
The little squares make it great for sharing with some guests. It's a coffee flavored cake, yes but it'd be perfect accompanied with a cup of coffee. Great for a little pick-me-up treat in the afternoon.