Stan (that’s my Mother-In-Law to the uninitiated) has relatives popping down this weekend and rewording the famous song ‘As I knew you were coming I have baked a cake!’
This is a recipe mined from Nigella’s new book At My Table. I’d thoroughly recommend the book, not just to cook from but to flick through; most of us love a bit of Nigella.
Special note – you will freak out when you make this cake mix. Aggh – you’ll think nothing this runny is going to turn out light and fluffy. Trust me it will. However do not be tempted to use a loose bottom tin or a springform one as the mixture will flow out your bottom. Not to wished upon anyone!
Put the oven on at 180C / 160C Fan / 350F / Gas 4.
In a bowl (or even better a large mixing jug for pouring) drop in the sugar, flour, and then sift the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and instant espresso powder. Mix these dry ingredients together.
Please do use instant espresso powder, the bigger particles of regular instant coffee do not mix as well and the strength of flavour is not what we require here – you have been warned!
In a second jug combine the wet ingredients, the whole milk, the vegetable oil and the eggs and mix well. Do not add the water at this stage.
Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and mix, no need for a machine here. Once mixed add the water from a recently boiled kettle and your batter is ready. At the risk of being repetitive… Yes it is supposed to be this runny! Please panic not.
Tip the mixture into two baking pans, oiled ones with a circle of baking parchment on the bottom only (no need to line the sides). Bake for aprox 25 mins, but take a look at 20, it's best not to over-do this sponge. It is ready when the cake comes away from the sides a bit, the top in springy and a cake tester comes out almost clean.
Once cooked take the cakes out of the oven but leave them in their tins for 15 mins, they are too fragile to decant from their tins straightaway. Then turn them out onto a wire cooling rack and peel off their baking parchment circles.
Make The Frosting
In a jug cream the soft butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
Dissolve the instant express powder in a little water from a recently boiled kettle and add this to the frosting and beat together.
Place one of your cakes top-side down onto your serving platter. I smeared a little butter cream onto the platter to hold the cake in place. Spread approximately one third of the butter cream onto this cake.
Add the second cake, this time top side up and cover with the remaining butter cream and finally decorate with chocolate covered coffee beans. I’m using chocolates that are moulded into bean shapes as that what I could find in Waitrose.
The sponges were very light, take care not to break them as I did! I managed to glue them back into shape with the butter cream. All in all a very easy cake for even the most nervous beginner.
Wonderful texture with a satisfyingly mocharish flavour.
Credit is due to my friend Geraint, he wanted to cook this but noticed that there was no cocoa in my recipe. Fault corrected and gold star to him!