Archives for posts with tag: espresso

Cake.  As much as I love cookies … and scones … and pastry … I ask you: is there anything that is just flat-out nicer than a slice of cake?  It’s the thing that we always seem to have for big occasions – weddings, birthdays, christenings and anniversaries.  But, it’s one of the easiest things that you can make to make every day feel special.

One of the things I really love about living in England is that they are all about the “everyday” cake.  Of course, they like their “show-stoppers” that are iced and decorated, just like everyone else.  But, they also like their simple, work-a-day cakes that you make when you have someone coming around for tea, or just for a little mid-week pick-me-up.  Much like an American pound cake, these cakes are simple but substantial and perfect for anything like a school bake sale or just having someone over for lunch.

Perfect for this type of simplicity is the bundt cake – whether they are a plain circular or if they have extra decoration (me, I’m a HUGE fan of NordicWare’s fantastic designs!!), they are a little more fancy-pants than a loaf tin or plain round traditional cake pans.  With the built-in “decoration”, all that’s left for you to do is to dust it with powdered sugar or maybe push the boat out with a flavored drizzle.

This cake is the result of about a month if research – oh, the things I do for you people!  The pain!  The toil!  But, I’ll be honest with you – I couldn’t be more pleased with the final result.  And, I think you’ll like it, too.

Mocha Bundt Cake

Cake

  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup Green & Black’s cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 bar Green & Black’s dark chocolate (70% cocoa), melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk, soured with the juice of one lemon
  • 5 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup super-fine sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp hot espresso
  • 4 squares dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a bundt pan by buttering it well.  (I’ve never had a good results from the baking spray – I warm butter until it’s mostly melted butter and use a pastry brush to make sure it gets into every nook and cranny – don’t forget the middle!)

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly, then add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides.  Reduce the speed to low and alternate the flour mixture and the soured milk, starting and ending with the flour (I do 3 flour additions with 2 milk additions in the middle).  Once you add the last bit of flour, stop the mixer and finish mixing by hand.

Pour into the bundt pan and smooth across the top, tapping once against the counter to make sure it’s settled into all the decorative bits.  Place on the middle rack of the oven and back 50 minutes – 1 hour, until a tester comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, using a knife to loosen a bit before turning out onto a plate.

Once the cake is cooled, make your glace by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and mix until the chocolate is melted and everything is thoroughly combined.  Drizzle over the cake and serve!

Mocha Bundt Cake

So, today is Easter Sunday and kids everywhere are waking up to baskets of chocolate eggs, Reese’s chocolate mini cups, and candy-coated chocolate eggs (could easily eat my weight in those things).  Sense a trend?  Much like Christmas, Easter seems to be overwhelmingly about chocolate.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Chocolate is all well and good – particularly if you’ve given it up for Lent.  But sometimes you just want something a little different.

And that’s this cake.

It’s a really nice, light, moist cake that is perfect for a mid-morning treat or dessert after a heavy dinner.  And the cardamom gives it a fabulous scent and such an interesting flavor that you’ll want to keep this in your repertoire!

I’ll tell you now that it might sound like it’s labor-intensive, but I promise you that it isn’t.  Get everything measured out and ready before you start and it all comes together very quickly.

Espresso, Cardamom and Pistachio Cake

  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios, divided – half ground finely, half roughly chopped for the topping
  • Seeds from 24 cardamom pods, ground finely then divided in half
  • Just under 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 4 oz butter, room temperature
  • just under 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp instant espresso powder, divided
  • 8 1/2 oz mascarpone
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk

Okay, let’s start by getting everything prepped:  bash your cardamom pods and remove the seeds, grind them finely, then divide in half (you should have about 1/2 tsp each).  Then, grind 1/3 cup of the pistachios, then set aside with 1/2 tsp cardamom and 1 Tbsp instant espresso.  Finish prepping by preheating the oven to 350 and buttering and lining with parchment paper two 8″ round cake pans.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the sides to make sure that the mixture is smooth.  Add the ground pistachio mixture and mix to combine completely before adding the flour, stirring in by hand to make sure you don’t overbeat.

Divide the mixture into the two tins – it’s not going to look like a whole lot, so spread it out across the bottom – it’ll only be about 1/2″ batter in the bottom.  Bake for about 20 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, prepare the coffee syrup – in a small bowl, mix 1 Tbsp instant espresso with about 1/4 cup boiling water, 1 Tbsp sugar and the other half-teaspoon of the ground cardamom.  Stir well and let cool.

When the cake is finished baking, poke all over with a toothpick and drizzle in the syrup while still in the pans, then let cool.  (If you have a squeeze bottle, use that for the syrup to make sure that you get a nice, even drizzle.)

Make the frosting by mixing the mascarpone with 1 tsp espresso and 1 Tbsp sugar, thinning slightly with a little milk.  When the cake is cool, spread half the mixture on the bottom layer, then sprinkle half of the roughly chopped pistachios, then top with the other layer, frosting and the remainder of the pistachios.

Espresso cardamom pistachio cake

%d bloggers like this: