So I was asked recently to make a birthday cake for a 70th birthday.
They're not a big family so the cake can't be too big. The person who it is for doesn't have a particularly sweet tooth. It can't be too rich and it's got to have a space for a number 70 candle.
So after some deliberation I came up with the idea of a coffee cake. Now that on its own seemed a bit plain, so to make it more decorative I gave myself the challenge of decorating it with a dark chocolate piped lace effect around the outside and pipe chocolate lettering.
On the first trial, the cake mix didn't want to play nicely with a deep tin. I had hoped I could cook one big cake and slice it into layers. So I turned that into cake balls!
But the second bake was much better!!
As it had to be transported (luckily it's cold enough in England to make things with chocolate!) I had great fun in stress testing the cake for changes in temperature and movement. I didn't temper the chocolate or do anything fancy- I just kept it in the fridge and it held up great!
So here's the recipe for the coffee cake. It does have a strong coffee flavour so you could half the amount of coffee if you don't like it strong.
Note: To make the birthday cake I used 8oz of butter, sugar, flour, 4eggs and 4 teaspoons coffee and this will fill 3 cake tins.
Strong Coffee Cake:
- 6oz Butter
- 6oz Light Brown Soft Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 6oz Flour
- 3 teaspoons coffee dissolved in a little boiling water (don't make it too watery)
For the filling and topping:
- 4.5 oz Butter
- 9oz Icing sugar
- 3 teaspoons coffee dissolved in a little boiling water
- Pre heat oven to 180C or Gas Mark 4.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the eggs.
- Fold in the flour and stir in the coffee until incorporated.
- Divide the mixture equally between two cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- When the cake has cooled; to make the icing beat together the butter and icing sugar then add the coffee. Spread in the middle of the cake then spread over the top. To give a professional finish, sift cocoa powder over the top of the cake.
Here's the tutorial I found on how to make the chocolate lace cake wrap. I decided to use the same pattern in the video as it was perfect for a man's cake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-RM7JyToew
Also, I recently brought a cake lever. I can't recommend it enough for making layered cakes. It saves so much time and effort!