Coffee, Chocolate & Almond Cake

This cake is worth making for the icing alone, the coffee buttercream is so, so delicious. This cake came about because my mum had been having pain in her shoulder and not being a doctor, I prescribed cake instead. Cake fixes everything, right? Especially when there is a pot of tea to go with it. I looked through my cook book ‘The Best-ever Book of Cakes’ (a title that surprisingly is not too far from the truth) looking for something with coffee in it and voilà, I spotted this gem that has 3 of my mum’s favourite flavours in it. I tweaked it very slightly but the recipe is almost straight out of the book.

Coffee

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 175 g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175 g of self-raising flour
  • 25 g of good quality cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 175 g of soft, dark brown sugar
  • 50 g of ground almonds
  • 0.5 tsp of almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • A splash of milk, if needed

For the buttercream:

  • 175 g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 350 g of icing sugar (I used a little less as I ran out, so add it bit by bit)
  • 30 ml of very strong coffee (1-2 tsp of instant, dissolved in 30 ml of hot water)
  • Nuts to decorate (optional, I used toasted flaked almonds)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease the sides and line the bottoms of two 7 or 8 inch round cake tins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using an electric whisk.
  3. Mix in the eggs, one by one, followed by the almond extract.
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt and ground almonds) and mix until well combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash or two of milk; this makes a thick cake batter though.
  5. Divide the batter evenly better the two tins and spread out the batter until vaguely flat and smooth.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cakes to cool for a couple of minutes in the tins then remove them and put them onto a cooling rack (remove the paper lining).Coffee3
  8. Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream (do not ice the cakes until they have cooled completely). To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a mixing bowl with a little of the sugar and all of the coffee, gradually add sugar until you have the desired consistency, you want a stiff buttercream.
  9. Place the first layer of the, completely cooled, cake onto a plate. Place a quarter of the buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it out evenly.
  10. Place the next layer on top and use the remaining icing to completely ice the top and sides of the cakes.Coffee2
  11. Decorate as you desire, if you desire, then slice and serve.
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