It's that time of month again, cake time! This is my 6th installment in my Cake Slice Bakers tenure and I think this one might be my favorite so far. It's hard to say that as a definitive because they have all had their merit and a couple have been REALLY DARN GOOD! Like the cinnamon buns. The gooey, ooey, soft and scrumptious potato dough cinnamon buns. Oh, the cinnamon buns. Those were good too. But this cake is something entirely different altogether and was an impressive dessert for a more adult pallet.
For those of you who need a little refresher on what we do in The Cake Slice Bakers, I'll give you the quick run down. Each November we start a new cake cookbook. Each month Laura from Baking in Pyjamas picks 4 recipes from the book. We each pick one to bake and keep it a secret from the rest of the group (even if they are begging you to tell them early!) On the 20th of the month we each post the cake we made and link to each other's cakes. It is always fun to see what everyone decided to bake and what they thought of it. This year we are working our way through Maida Heatter's Cakes. Our choices for February were all so tempting to make. I mean the Kansas City Chocolate Dream cake sounded dreadfully delicious. I sure hope somebody made it so I can see it. Pineapple upside down cake is always so good and I can't even tell you the last time I had one, so that was certainly tempting. I have been trying to use this group to push my baking boundaries though and I had never made a sponge cake before. So, sponge cake it was.
We were invited to dinner at my mother-in-law's house, so I knew this would be the perfect time to bake it. The sponge cake was actually a lot easier to make than I had imagined. Normally separating the eggs, whipping and folding would have been enough for me to move on to the next recipe. But I guess the great plan to broaden my horizons has been paying off. I did it and it was fun! Sure, it took a couple more dirty bowls than normal. But, I got to use both my hand mixer and stand mixer, and I figure if I have them I might as well use them. Win, win!
The cake had a nice coffee flavor and the spongy texture that gives it the name. The icing was a light and airy delicious pile of slightly sweet, slightly coffee, slightly chocolate whipped cream. YUM! The whole thing worked so well together. I shaved some chocolate to sprinkle on top and it was met with rave reviews. I will definitely be making this again!
Coffee and Cream Sponge Cake
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 T instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp salt
1 ounce semisweet chocolate
1 T instant coffee
1 T boiling water
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T granulated sugar
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Prepare 2 9-inch pans. I sprayed mine with baking spray (the kind with the flour in it), but you can do whatever works best for you.
- Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
- Dissolve coffee granules in the hot water and set aside.
- In you mixer bowl, beat the egg yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar until pale and thick. Turn mixer to low and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and coffee mixture, beating until smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until foamy. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until they form soft peaks.
- Spoon a small amount of the egg whites into the yolk mixture and fold in to lighten it. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until blended, but not any more than you have to.
- Spread into prepared pans.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool for 2 minutes, then turn out. Continue to cool, right side up on a wire rack until completely cooled.
- To make the icing: Place your mixer bowl and beater in the refrigerator. Chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave. Start with a thirty second burst, then go in fifteen second increments stirring between each one until the chocolate is smooth. Stir the coffee granules into the water until dissolved. Pour over chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. Once the chocolate mixture is completely cool, add a couple of tablespoons of the cream to it and stir until smooth. In the chilled bowl, whip the remaining cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. While the beater is running, add the chocolate mixture and beat until the cream is stiff enough to work as an icing.
- Layer the cake and frosting, smoothing the whipped cream as you go. It is soft and billowy, so you can make it look nice as is, but we really liked the chocolate shavings on top!