I came across this recipe on the Good Food Channel website and was dying to have a go as soon as the opportunity or need for baking a cake arose. I didn’t have to wait long as I made it (along with other cakes) for the party I held in our little French house to celebrate my recent retirement.
The cake is essentially a coffee flavoured sponge cake but with a difference. Ground almonds are included in the mixture and it is sandwiched together with blackcurrant jam as well as the usual butter cream.
It was the combination of coffee and blackcurrant flavours that made me want to have a go. I had never come across this before and I have to say it was a lovely combination. Coffee cakes, especially of the traditional coffee and walnut variety, can sometimes be a bit overly sweet if there is butter cream on top as well as inside. I liked the way the sharpness of the blackcurrant jam contrasted well with the sweetness in this recipe.
This is not a “light as air” kind of sponge cake. The almonds made it slightly denser but it rose well and had a nice even crumb. Using five eggs and a whole pack of butter it is not cheap to make but it goes a long way and tastes delicious.
I followed the recipe closely but made my butter cream by whizzing it up in the food processor. I used espresso powder for the flavouring instead of the coffee granules in the recipe. When filling the cake I found it impossible to “spread” the butter cream on top of the jam so just blobbed it on – otherwise the jam was being pushed off the edge of the cake!
As a change from the usual coffee sponge cake it was a great success and I would definitely make it again. You can see the original recipe here.
For the cake
2tsp instant coffee granules (or espresso powder)
250g self-raising flour
30g ground almonds
275g softened unsalted butter
275g caster sugar
5 large eggs, beaten
1 tblsp milk
For the filling
½tsp instant coffee granules (or espresso powder)
200g icing sugar
60g softened butter
1 tbslp milk
3-4 tblsp blackcurrant jam
icing sugar for sprinkling
Grease and line the bases of two 20cm (8”) sandwich tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°fan / gas mk 4.
Dissolve the coffee granules/powder in 1 tblsp boiling water and put aside to cool. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the ground almonds, making sure to break up any clumps.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add half the flour mixture and beaten eggs. Beat together.
Add the remaining flour mixture, along with the other half of the eggs, the milk and coffee and beat until just combined.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and level the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
To make the butter cream, dissolve the coffee in 1tsp boiling water and leave to cool. Then put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until it is light and fluffy.
When the cakes are completely cold, slice some of the the dome off the top of one of them and turn it upside down on a cake plate so the flatter surface is facing up. Spread with an even layer of jam. Blob the butter cream over the top and gently spread it with the back of a spoon, making sure it goes right to the edge of the cake.
Put the second cake on top and dust liberally with icing sugar before serving.
Cuts into at least 12 slices.