Sunday, August 19, 2012

Coffee Cream Sponge Cake

I made this our friend's daughter McKenzie, who had a birthday a few days ago. She likes coffee-flavored desserts. The cake is light as a feather and even the cream frosting and filling seems light (but obviously not).  I was pleased with this cake and it is one that I will make again. I thought about using expresso powder instead of coffee to make the cake richer in that flavor but I'm glad I stuck to the recipe. The coffee flavor is just right and a perfect compliment to the cake. 

The garnish is simply chocolate curls that are easy to do. Just get a large bar of Hershey's chocolate (keep it at room temperature) and use a potato/fruit peeler to make the curls. 

Coffee Cream Sponge Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 127.

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 TBS. instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Adjust the oven rack to the center and preheat to 350. You can butter and flour the pans in the traditional scene as Maida describes but I used baking spray and it worked fine. Do line the bottom of the pan with wax paper. 

When sifting the flour and baking powder, I sometimes use a sifter but more than often, I just use a whisk to blend it all together. 
Dissolve the coffee in the water, set aside.
It will seem like a long time, especially with a professional mixer but do let it run for 3-4 minutes until the egg yolks and sugar are pale and thick. 
Lower the speed and add 2 tablespoons of the sifted dry ingredients.
Add the vanilla.
Add the coffee. Mix well, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.
Add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated.
Set this mixture aside. You will need a clean, separate bowl for the next step.
Beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold a soft shape (I always use the whisk attachment for egg whites. I also recommend that you chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 5 minutes). Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Beat until the whites hold a definite shape but are not too dry or stiff.
Fold a few tablespoons of the whites into the yolk mixture.
Now fold the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture just until blended. (Don't handle more than necessary)
Divide the mixture between the two prepared pans.
Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on your oven (mine only took 15 minutes). Let the cakes remain in the pans for about 3 minutes. Carefully trim around the sides of the pan with a sharp knife to release the cake. Invert the pan(s) with a wire rack held against the top to release the cake. Cool completely.
After the cakes have cooled, carefully remove the wax paper.

Prepare the whipped cream while the cakes are baking or while they are cooling.

Coffee Chocolate Whipped Cream

1 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 TBS. instant coffee
1 TBS. boiling water
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 TBS. granulated sugar

Chop the chocolate very fine and place it in the top of a double boiler over hot water on moderate heat.
Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water.
Pour the coffee over the chocolate and mix well.
When the mixture has cooled, gradually add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cream to the chocolate mixture.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the remaining cream with the vanilla and sugar. Beat until it holds a soft shape.  (I cover my mixer with a towel to prevent the cream from flying all over me and the kitchen.
Continue beating and add the chocolate mixture. Beat until the cream is stiff enough to hold its shape as an icing.

Cover the bottom layer with 1/2 inch thick layer of the cream.

Place the top layer and use the remaining cream to frost the cake.


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