Monday, March 06, 2006
Made this cake Thursday night for Janes birthday from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer book. The cake was delicious though I don’t think it looked all that appealing, the icing was very hard to spread & mine did not end up with a very smooth consistency at all, tasted yum though. Even Nigella doesn’t have a photo of this one in her book so maybe it looks the same for her too! If making this again I would definitely not making the icing first as suggested as it then just hardens in the fridge & you have to leave it out for a while again before spreading, think a lot of time would be saved making it while the cake itself is baking. Also I had nearly the same amount of icing left over as I used on the cake so you could almost halve the quantities unless you like it really, really thick. The cake itself had a very strong coffee flavour which I loved, a lot of mocha recipes are a bit weak I find, this also went really well with the white icing as suggested, here is the recipe
Blonde Mocha Layer Cake
225g self raising flour
225g very soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing tins
225g caster sugar
4 teaspoons instant espresso
4 large eggs
approx. 4 tablespoons full-fat milk
for the icing
250g white chocolate
90g very soft unsalted butter
300ml crème fraiche
250g icing sugar, sieved
Preheat the oven to 180c and butter and flour two sandwich tins of 21cm diameter (and just under 5cm deep). But it’s probably best, if it’s at all warm out, to make the icing first and then stash it in the fridge till needed.
So: melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over some simmering water of else in the microwave. Remove to cool a little, then add the crème fraiche – which you do need rather than ordinary cream, to undercut the otherwise oversweetness of the white chocolate – before gradually beating in the icing sugar. Put the icing in the fridge to set a little.
Now get on with making the cake. The easiest way is just to put the flour, butter, sugar, coffee and eggs is a processor and then, when fully incorporated, pour the milk – processing, again after a little bowl-scraping with a rubber spatula – down the funnel to make a soft, pouring consistency, adding more milk if needed but starting off just with a couple of tablespoons.
Remove the double-bladed knife, then pour and scrape the cake batter into the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester (or piece of raw spaghetti) comes out clean and the cakes are beginning to shrink away from the sides. Let them stand in their tines on a wire rack for 10 minutes then turn them out and leave them there till completely cool.
Now, cut out four strips of baking parchment and make a square with them on a cake-plate. Put one of the cakes on top, and add a good dollop of icing, spreading it almost, but not quite, to the sides and then cover with the remaining cake and spread the top and sides generously with the soft, rich, buttery icing. When it’s all done, whip away the pieces of parchment, but not so roughly as to smear the icing over the plate, which would rather defeat the whole exercise.
Depending on the weather, you may want to put the assembled cake back in the fridge for 10 minutes or so before cutting.
Serves 8, or 7 seven if my husband is around.