Today's effort - Mocha Cake :
Hmmm, the 'easy chocolate curls' (not described here but detailed in the book) turned out as 'easy chocolate dust,' and my butter was far too soft for the icing (you can see how it's seeped out the end of the cake!), but otherwise a very delicious cake.
175g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
225g soft light brown sugar
175g butter, melted
4 medium eggs, separated
60ml very strong coffee, cooled
3 tbsp water
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp water or milk
2-3tbsp very strong coffee, cooled
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Oil and line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper (yay! finally a chance to use my Lakeland loaf tin liners and they performed brilliantly!) so that it comes over the sides of the tin. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl, add the sugar and stir to combine.
2. Using a wooden spoon or a hand-held whisk, beat in the melted butter, egg yolks, coffee and water until smooth.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until fairly stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the cake mixture in three batches making sure there are no lumps of egg white left.
4. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the surface. Give the tin a tap to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C/gas 3 for the last 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. As I use a fan oven, I reduced the heat to 140C (I usually reduce by about 20 degrees) - however the cake then took a further 40 minutes to cook, rather than the 20 described in the recipe. This sort of thing has happened before, and I wonder whether if the oven temperature reduces below a certain point, I either don't need to reduce it so much, or don't need to reduce it at all.
5. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then lift out by the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Make the icing - Place the butter in a large bowl and beat it thoroughly with a wooden spoon until it is very soft. Add the sifted icing sugar and coffee and beat until smooth (as my butter was so soft I didn't need any milk, and even had to add more icing sugar to get it to a consistency where it would actually stay on a cake!). When the cake is cold, remove the parchment paper. Using a breadknife, split the cake horizontally (I also removed the top as it was no way flat enough for the runniness of my icing) and spread about a third of the icing on the lower half. Place the other half of the cake back on top and spread the rest of the icing over it.
7. Decorate as desired - it's best to leave the cake for 30 minutes to settle before cutting.
Okay Rachel Allen - Italian Hazelnut cake next...