Coffee Mocha Sponge Cake
Well, who doesn’t like a light coffee sponge with a mocha buttercream filling? Simple, straightforward and great for sharing. It’s the One True Cake recipe I use a lot – a Genoese sponge. You could top it with walnuts for another classic flavour combination, but I didn’t have any in the house so I used chocolate sprinkles.
I made this for my Seniors Lunch Club this week and it went down a treat. We had some new members so we did initial introductions and a gossip while we all ate lunch (and cake) and then we played Beetle. We got quite competitive and noisy. Everyone seemed to remember the concept, although several members said they hadn’t played Beetle since their teenage years and Church social occasions. Luckily I have some large dice, so we didn’t have to squint through our glasses, and I brought along plastic boxes to throw the dice into, to save us scrabbling on the floor too much. For those who are not familiar with the game (is there anyone?) you throw a die and according to the score you draw part of a beetle. You have to start with a 6 for its body, and throw a 1 for the head, 2 for eyes, 3 for antennae, 5 for wings and 4 for legs. Of course, it has 6 legs so you have to throw some numbers much more than others, which is fun and takes longer than you think. The first person to draw a full beetle is the winner and you can go on to have several rounds if you have time. Our drawings ended up causing much hilarity – some looked more like birds than beetles and some looked rather grim while others had smiley faces. Our winner took home a small pot of home-made raspberry jam, so the effort was worthwhile.
We probably needed another piece of cake when we got home to recover from the shouting!
Serves 12 Timings: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking, then cooling time, 30 minutes to ice and fill the cake.
For the buttercream filling: 200g salted butter; 1 tablespoon cocoa powder; 1 tablespoon camp coffee essence; 150g icing sugar
For the water icing: 150g icing sugar, 2 tablespoons camp coffee essence, 2-3 tablespoons water
Pre heat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 15cm diameter loose bottomed cake tins. You can make it in one deeper tin and cut through the equator if you prefer.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Melt the butter and leave it to cool a bit.
Sieve the flour and coffee granules together – you might need to scrape the coffee through the sieve a little to crush it down to a finer powder.
With the motor running slowly, add half the flour and coffee into the cake, then the rest. Stop whisking and add the melted butter, stirring in gently with a metal spoon – this helps keep the air in the sponge.
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 25 minutes, until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack, remove from the tins and cool completely before icing.
Make the buttercream: whisk the butter until fluffy and add in the icing sugar one spoon at a time with the motor running. You will need to cover your mixer with a teatowel to stop the icing sugar rising up and making the kitchen look as if it has snowed. Add the cocoa powder and the camp coffee essence and keep whisking to a mousse-like consistency.
Spread this over the surface of one of the cakes, reserving about 1/3 of the mixture for the outside. Top with the other sponge and smooth the remaining icing round the outside.
Make the water icing by mixing the icing sugar, coffee essence and gradually adding water to reach the right consistency – a thick spreadable gooey icing. Spread this on top of the cake and decorate with sprinkles or chocolate curls as you like, or halved walnuts.
Leave the cake in a cool place for the icing to firm up before slicing. It will keep up to 3 days in a tin in a cool place.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.