Mel­low or full roast: cof­fee cake for all oc­ca­sions

For years now I have har­boured a shame­ful se­cret — I am ad­dicted to in­stant cof­fee with a good dose of chicory, writes Hen­nie Fisher

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

NOTH­ING in the world beats a cap­puc­cino from De Pas­cale in the Zona Pe­donale on the Via Roma in Avollino, south­ern Italy; be­ing un­able to pro­duce that at home, sec­ond-rate plunger or fil­ter cof­fee just seems like pun­ish­ment. The rounded, mel­low soft­ness that the chicory gives to in­stant cof­fee is a much bet­ter com­pro­mise than badly made home cof­fee.

Chicory is not only used as a cof­fee ad­di­tive but is also cul­ti­vated for its leaves and grown as for­age crop for live­stock.

It ap­pears to have many health ben­e­fits, rang­ing from in­fu­sions use­ful for skin erup­tions to dis­tilled flower wa­ter to al­le­vi­ate eye in­flam­ma­tions, and in­cludes vi­ta­mins A, B6, C, E, K, zinc, cal­cium, mag­ne­sium, potas­sium, iron and man­ganese.

It also con­tains in­ulin, a sol­u­ble fi­bre that feeds the di­ges­tive flora in our in­testines. Chicory is a rich source of an­tiox­i­dants and there­fore helps to pro­tect the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem.

Cof­fee cake is a sat­is­fy­ing, yummy thing. It could be part caf­feine in­jec­tion (or not, as in this case where a chicory-cof­fee blend is used), a rich dessert, or a de­li­cious tea-time cake with a pro­nounced iden­tity.

Sadly, my chicory-rich cof­fee did not work as well as I thought it would in this recipe; its flavour seemed to dis­si­pate from the heat dur­ing bak­ing and I was left with a de­li­ciously moist choco­late cake with a mere hint of cof­fee.

Of course the an­swer may be to make a punchy cof­fee ic­ing, but I opted in­stead for a smooth vanilla but­ter­cream ic­ing to cre­ate my ver­sion of a cap­puc­cino cake.

For a strong cof­fee flavour, I would sug­gest us­ing a strong, full­roast in­stant cof­fee or a very short, dou­ble espresso — just mind the amount of liq­uid, as it may al­ter the vol­umes of the bat­ter and ic­ing. 10 ml white vine­gar 5 ml vanilla ex­tract 5 ml cof­fee essence More but­ter for cake tins Syrup 80 ml cof­fee pow­der 20 ml cof­fee essence 300 g golden brown sugar 300 ml wa­ter Pre­pare three 25cm cake tins by lightly brush­ing with melted but­ter, then lin­ing both the sides and the base with bak­ing parch­ment. Once lined, grease the sides and bot­tom with more but­ter. Sift to­gether the flour, cocoa, cof­fee, bi­car­bon­ate of soda and salt. Add in the sugar. Mix the melted but­ter, the amasi/but­ter­milk and milk to­gether. To this mix­ture add the vine­gar, eggs and flavour­ings (vanilla and cof­fee essence), and mix into the sifted flour mix­ture.

Stir to­gether vig­or­ously, but be care­ful not to over­mix; stop as soon as the bat­ter ap­pears smooth and with­out lumps. Di­vide the mix­ture be­tween the three pans and smooth down slightly. Bake in a pre­heated oven (180°C) for 50 min­utes. Test that the cake is baked through­out; guard against over­bak­ing. Re­move from the oven and im­me­di­ately driz­zle the boil­ing syrup over the cakes, di­vid­ing the syrup evenly among the three cakes to en­sure that all the cakes are well soaked through. Cool com­pletely in the tins be­fore re­mov­ing. The cakes may be some­what frag­ile, so rather un­mould and as­sem­ble im­me­di­ately rather than cool­ing on a cake rack. Use good qual­ity French but­ter­cream, flavoured with cof­fee or vanilla, to as­sem­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.