A couple of days ago was my Mum's birthday and what better way to celebrate than following tradition with her favourite family recipe passed down to her from her own Mum (my maternal grandmother)! I have however adapted the recipe to make it a gluten free version.
I wouldn't say this cake is solely for coffee lovers out there, on the contrary I'm not a coffee drinker but I very much enjoyed this cake back when my stomach could still tolerate it, that is! Don't worry, normal stomachs are fine, mine's just "special". I did have a morsel though just to make sure I didn't need to alter anything and without tooting my own horn, this has the be the best one I've made yet (toot...toot!).
Ingredients for cake (Serves 8):
- 2 sandwich tins 9inch (greased and floured with gluten free normal flour not self-raising)
- 227g self-raising flour (gluten free; no need to add xanthan gum as it will make the mixture too sticky)
- 170g castor sugar (I used ultra fine, but it works with plain too)
- 170g margarine (or butter, whatever the preference or what's in your fridge at the time)
- 113g ground almonds
- 4 eggs: 3 large, 1 standard (I used 4 large because they looked rather small for being large)
- 6 dessertspoons of COLD black coffee (I used vanilla flavoured, but normal works fine too)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
Make 3/4 of a cup of instant coffee (or other coffee of choice) and leave to cool (put in fridge for faster result), take out butter and eggs from the fridge to let warm to room temperature whilst coffee is cooling (approx. 1 hour).
Sift flour and salt. Cream margarine (or butter) and sugar with vanilla essence in bowl. Add warmed eggs (i.e. eggs at room temperature) at 10 second intervals (assuming you are using a food mixer, I just used a beater) then beat hard for 1 minute. Add the ground almonds and beat till almonds are blended in mixture (about 10 seconds). Then add 1/2 the flour and 3 dessertspoons of coffee and beat again (about 10 seconds), then remainder of the flour and another 3 dessertspoons of coffee and beat making sure everything is well blended together.
Spread evenly in 2 greased and floured (gluten free) 9inch sandwich tins and bake for 30 minutes (although keep an eye out after 25) at 180°C in a fan oven or 200°C for a non-fan oven.
Ingredients for Icing:
- 170g margarine (or butter)
- 312g sifted icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (had I used normal coffee I would have added an extra teaspoon for a more vanilla-y flavour)
- 3 tablespoons of COLD black coffee (I added an extra tablespoon of my vanilla flavoured coffee because my family loves coffee, but start off with 3 and taste test to see if you want to add more)
Mix together margarine (or butter at room temperature), icing sugar, coffee and vanilla essence. When the cake is cool, sandwich the rounds together, retaining some icing for the top of the cake (and sides if that's how you wish to decorate).
- Chocolate sauce
- Coffee beans (real coffee beans are not edible so if you can find chocolate ones, even better)
- Brésilienne (chopped caramalised nuts)
Squeeze the tube of chocolate sauce in a zig-zag motion over the cake, swivel cake 90° and zig-zag again, you get this lovely asymmetric grid pattern. Add coffee beans in whatever pattern you like (make sure to warn your guests if they're not edible though, don't want to ruin that lovely cake flavour). Add the brésilienne all along the edge, this is the first year I did this (to cover up the uneven edging of the icing for the photos) but it gave the cake an extra "biscuity" crunch that was much enjoyed, to repeat!
So there you have it, a much loved family recipe modernised "à la gluten free" for you to enjoy and decorate as creativity inspires!
Have you got any family recipes that have been passed down through generations?
Are you a baking wizard that has come up with new yummy cake combinations? If so, do share!
What's your favourite part about making a cake? Mine is definitely the decorating :D