Good morning and a Happy Easter to you.
This isn’t an Easter cake, though it does contain chocolate, nor was it made recently. But I was asked for the recipe from someone over on Instagram, so I felt I should cobble together a blog post with details of how I made this cake (which was in the Autumn of last year).
The cake itself is a simple coffee Victoria Sponge, but it is soaked in a Tia Maria sugar syrup, then filled with an Espresso and Mascarpone cream, then covered completely in a good old fashioned chocolate buttercream. It is finished off with a chocolate glaze drizzle, chocolate bark and various other decorative edibles.
You should start by making the chocolate bark the day before you need it to ensure it is firm enough to handle, especially if it is warm.
150G of Dark Chocolate
A handful of Coffee Beans
Gold Sugar, sprinkles, bronze honeycomb chunks (Marks and Spencer) or any other pretty gold or bronze decorations you can find that will tone together.
- Melt the chocolate gently then spread it in a layer of about 3 or 4mm across a silicone mat to about 15cm by 20cm, then immediately sprinkle with the coffee beans and other decorations.
- Allow to firm overnight.
225g of Soft Butter
225g of Golden Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour, sieved
4 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
2 Heaped Teaspoons of Coffee dissolved in one Tablespoon of boiling water then cooled
- Grease and line an 8″ cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 180C (160C fan).
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, with a scant dessert spoon of flour, and mix well before adding the next one.
- Mix the remaining flour with the baking powder and fold in half of it to the butter, sugar and eggs.
- Gently mix in the coffee, then add the rest of the flour and baking powder mix and gently fold until incorporated.
- Put the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins until it is springy to touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, you can make the sugar syrup and the Espresso Mascarpone filling.
4 Tablespoons of water
75g of Golden Caster Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Tia Maria
- Put the water and the sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium until the sugar has all dissolved. Once you take it off the heat add the Tia Maria, stir in gently, then put to one side.
Espresso and Mascarpone Cream
250g of Mascarpone
25g of Golden Syrup
10g of Icing Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Espresso (or 2 heaped teaspoons of good instant coffee dissolved in one tablespoon of boiling water), cold
- Gently mix all of the above ingredients together, cover and put to one side until ready to use. Store it in the fridge if this is going to be for more than half an hour.
200g of Soft Butter
300g of Icing Sugar, sieved
100g of Dark Chocolate, melted
- Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, making sure all the icing sugar is incorporated. Whilst the mixer is still going, pour in the melted dark chocolate and mix until it is evenly distributed.
Once the cake is completely cool, level off the top with a sharp knife or cake leveller, then split it into three layers. They will be shallow, so handle gently.
Brush (or pour) each layer with some of the sugar syrup until it is used up.
Place the first layer on your cake board or plate, the add half of the mascarpone and espresso cream, spreading it evenly across the cake. Place the second layer on top, and repeat with the same filling. Then add the top layer. If you feel the filling is a little soft at this stage, then chill the whole cake for half an hour to firm up.
Crumb coat (a thin coat of icing to trap all the crumbs) the cake with a thin layer of chocolate buttercream and refrigerate for an hour. Now cover the cake with the rest of the chocolate buttercream, using a bench scraper to get the sides as smooth as possible. Chill again for half an hour.
At this stage make the Chocolate Glaze and allow it to cool a little. You will get the hang of what temperature and consistency is required the more you use this technique. Too thick and it won’t drizzle beautifully but will clump up; too runny and it will run all round down the sides and onto your board or plate. I leave it to cool for about 10 minutes in the bowl before putting in a disposable icing bag.
100g of Dark Chocolate
60g of Butter
2 Teaspoons of Golden Syrup
- Put all of the ingredients together and melt gently over a bain marie.
Take the cake from the fridge, snip a half centimetre hole in the bottom of the icing bag and start to drizzle it around the top edge of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides, whilst turning the cake slowly at the same time. Here is a video showing you how I do it. As soon as you have drizzled the glaze down the side, quickly cover the top of the cake and spread it out, if necessary, with a spatula.
Have all your decorations and cut up bark at the ready so that you can get going as soon as the drizzle is done (you don’t want to be forcing the bark into firm glaze or trying to get sprinkles to adhere to it once it has set). Think in advance about how you want to arrange your decorations. A semi circle is very attractive and easy to achieve, but by all means, cover the whole cake or make an arrangement in the centre if that pleases you.
These pieces of chocolate bark are quite modest in size, but could easily be tall shards if you so wish.
I hope this is of help and you have fun re-creating your own Coffee Cake with a kick.