Easter baking inevitably evokes thoughts of chocolate nowadays, but what if you don't like chocolate cake? Strange I know, but these people do exist! This coffee and salted caramel cake offers a rich and gorgeous alternative to the traditional simnel or chocolate offerings. I gave it a swirling rococo style decoration to complement the extreme decadence of the taste of the coffee crumb base and salted caramel buttercream.
The cake base recipe comes from my 4 Tier Coffee & Walnut Cake, blogged earlier here. Adapted from the recipe in a River Cottage Baking booklet by The Telegraph newspaper. You can buy the River Cottage baking book by Pam Corbin from Amazon here.
Rococo buttercream piping ideas inspired by Peggy Porschen's Glorious Victoria Cake in her book Boutique Baking. To buy the book click on her website here: http://www.peggyporschen.com
for the coffee base:
200g plain flour
1 and a half teaspoon baking powder
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g light brown muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
25-50ml whole milk
1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan ovens), and grease and line a 20 inch loose bottomed baking tin.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of the flour after each one, and beat well after each addition.
4. Mix in the dissolved instant coffee.
5. Next sift the flour and baking powder into the cake batter, stirring it in gently with a wooden or metal spoon.
6. Fold in the milk, combining gently until the batter is of a soft dropping consistency.
7. Distribute the batter evenly between the cake tins, and bake in the oven for approx 50 minutes. You'll know the cake is done when the top springs back under your finger, and a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before placing onto a wire rack or plate to cool further.
for the salted caramel buttercream:
300g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar
1 pinch salt
4 tbsps good quality shop bought salted caramel, warmed and cooled
9. First, heat the salted caramel very gently until it has warmed and liquefied. Then take off the heat and put the caramel on one side to cool.
10. Once the liquid caramel has cooled, you can make the buttercream. Cream together the butter, salt and icing sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and pale.
11. Stir in the cool liquid salted caramel until the mixture is well combined. Give it another quick beat if the buttercream starts to lose its fluff.
12. To decorate the cooled cake, cover the top and the sides with three quarters of the salted caramel buttercream. I'm slapdash at this, no doubt you can make yours look smoother and neater.
13. To pipe the rococo style swirls, get a pint glass and place a piping bag with a star nozzle inside the glass, so that the nozzle is on the bottom of the glass. Fold the piping bag edges over the glass rim. Spoon the buttercream into the piping bag, then carefully take the bag out of the glass and twist the end of the bag so that the icing is well contained.
14. Pipe the buttercream in C shaped swirls around the edge of the top of the cake . Finally, pipe shells and dots in the middle and on the sides. Put the cake in the fridge to chill until the icing has set a little.
15. Serve at room temperature, and enjoy!
This cake was idly baked while I listened to George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue