Without roommates or co-workers to thrust my hitherto distinclty average baking attempts upon, and with supplies in the house a little limited, I’m doing a Matt Damon and downsizing everything that I make.
A few years ago I picked up a kids baking set in Hema, as I just knew that I would have a need for a tiny cake tin, a miniature loaf tin and a few small cookie cutters. It also came with a miniature rolling pin which I’ve used less, but it’s still come in handy every few days! So I have adapted the below coffee cake recipe to be enough to make two tins worth of a 4.5 inch cake tin, does that make sense?
It was a tasty little cake, and I raided the stash of leftover chocolate from Christmas (how is there even any leftover?!) and found that a very generous relative had given me some chocolate coated coffee beans which I had been saving as I love them, so they made an excellent topping to the cake. Anything would work really, or you could just leave it with some buttercream.
- 100g butter (room temperature)
- 100g caster sugar (ideally, but I think under current circumstances you can use whatever you might have in stock, just be aware that it might be a little grainy if you go for a demerara or something like that!)
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla
- Two teaspoons of instant coffee, mixed with a tiny bit of water
- 110g flour
- One teaspoon of baking powder
Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees, it’s only a little cake after all. Grease the cake tin and line the bottom with a bit of parchment paper.
Cream together your sugar and butter until the mixture is pale and slightly fluffy. Then slowly mix in your eggs and just keep mixing, don’t be put off by it looking a bit strange at this stage! Add your vanilla and coffee and then once it looks fairly well mixed, begin to sieve in your flour and baking powder. Normally you’d have equal amounts of flour to sugar and butter but as we’re adding in a little more liquid by using coffee, I have compensated for that with a pinch more flour. There is probably a more sophisticated way of doing this but hey, it works so I’m not complaining.
Fold your flour in gently, trying not to knock too much air out of the mix and once it’s all combined and looking silky smooth, pop half into your cake tin and bake for around 25-minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Do the same for the second half of the mix, and leave your cake halves to cool. I like to then take a sharp knife and gently level the cakes off.
Now is your chance to get creative – I like a coffee buttercream with my coffee cake and if I had any in stock I would also be crushing up some pecans or walnuts to layer into the middle of the cake too. With the buttercream, go easy on the butter, I only needed a couple of heaped teaspoons worth as that extra liquid from more instant coffee for flavour really helps to keep the consistency quite smooth. Mix in icing sugar until you achieve your final desired texture, and voila, an easy filling and topping for your cake! If you’re feeling indulgent then a creamy chocolate ganache would make this a fab mocha cake, or if you’ve got some in then whip some cream up and sprinkle a little chocolate on top and it’s a cappucino cake!
If you’re able to take a little time to bake, and it’s something that helps you relax or a nice little project to feel you’ve accomplished then I’m all for it. Plus, this dinky little thing does six perfectly reasonable portions, or four if you’re feeling particularly peckish, so you don’t have piles of cake going stale in your kitchen!
Stay safe x