Coffee Sponge with Buttercream Filling
The theme of our seniors Lunch Club group this week was of course Bonfire Night. One or two members had very strict mothers and weren’t allowed out, but most people had very clear and fond memories of community bonfires, roasted potatoes, home made treacle toffee and parkin. We decided our favourite firework is probably a sparkler (I wonder who invented those? Good idea, whoever it was.) although Catherine Wheel came in a close second. I really should have made a parkin for this week, but one of our members isn’t too fond of ginger, so I made a coffee sponge instead. Many recipes of this type tell you to use unsalted butter for the buttercream icing – do as you like, but I really enjoy the very slight tang of salt in the filling against the sweetness of the cake. This cake is so rich you only need a small square of it, but it tastes so good and is such a treat. I have to admit that because my cakes are made to be cut up, pieces wrapped in silver foil and delivered round the neighbourhood, I am not a talented cake decorator. Feel free to improvise and improve on my efforts and send me your photos!
Timings: 1 hour to prepare and bake the cake, another hour to cool and ice.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a 24cm square cake tin, grease it and line with baking parchment.
Make a simple coffee-flavoured Genoese sponge: whisk the eggs and sugar together either with a mixer or over a bowl of hot water, until you get a thick and creamy texture. This takes only about 3-4 minutes in the mixer. While these are beating up, melt the butter and sieve the flour.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour to the egg/sugar foam gradually, add the coffee powder. Turn off the mixer and using a metal spoon, stir in the melted butter. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake about 20-25 minutes till golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the tin and turn out onto a rack, remove the parchment. Leave to cool. While the cake is cooling, wash up your mixer bowl and beat the butter until light and creamy. Mix in the icing sugar and coffee essence. I put a tea-towel over the mixer while adding in the icing sugar to stop the kitchen getting covered in a thin and attractive layer of airborne sugar. The buttercream will stand ready until the cake is cool.
When cool, cut the cake in half through the middle carefully using your biggest breadknife. Spread the buttercream evenly over the bottom half and put the top of the cake on again.
Make a simple icing with the icing sugar and coffee essence, and ice the top of the cake. Decorate as you wish, I used some chocolate shavings and chocolate sprinkles.
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.