Coffee is one of my favourite things. I honestly can’t start the day without it. If I do (very rarely) skip it, I don’t feel right. Every month or so Mr. Scott stops off to but the latest bag of coffee goodness from Monmouth and this makes a very welcome change. I don’t own a fancy coffee machine, just a cafetiere and a pot with filters (again from Monmouth).
To show my love of coffee and because it is the chosen WE SHOULD COCOA ingredient this month, I have baked up a seriously dark, intense, caffeine loaded loaf cake. To me, it tastes like how an espresso would taste if it was food. I think it would be sacrilege not to serve the best espresso in town alongside it. I love it and if you are a serious coffee drinker, I think you would too.
Having said that my 8yo and 6yo girls really enjoyed it which amazed me. I think it has a very grown up deep rich flavour. I do believe they are finally at an age where they can take stronger tastes and are just beginning to appreciate them. 4yo old though, sneered at it!
This month’s WE SHOULD COCOA is being guest hosted by Lucy at THE KITCHENMAID. CHOCOLATE LOG BLOG (Choclette) and CHOCOLATE TEAPOT (Chele) are the original hosts. Choclette is not a fan of coffee but has still managed to enter some fantastic looking espresso and cappuccino cupcakes HERE.
I have adapted the recipe from THIS BOOK by Annie Bell. The “spice” comes in the form of cinnamon and compliments the coffee as do the addition of dark chocolate chips, and olive oil!
Spiced Espresso Loaf Cake
Ingredients :- Makes 1 loaf
For the cake :-
8oz (225g) dark muscovado sugar
8oz (225g) self raising wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
225ml light olive oil
50ml strong coffee (I used instant espresso)
Large handful of dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
For the coffee icing :-
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp espresso coffee dissolved in 1tbsp boiling water
For the cake :-
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees.
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
Sift the flour into a bowl then add the sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Next add the olive oil, egg yolks, coffee and milk. Beat the mixture until it is smooth either by hand or with a mixer.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are stiff, then fold them into the cake batter in two or three batches.
Finally add in the chocolate chips and then pour the cake batter into the loaf tin. Tap it down on a work surface to get rid of any air bubbles.
Bake for about an hour. After 50 and 55 minutes check how cooked it is by inserting a knife. It needs to come out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing :-
Measure the icing sugar into a bowl then add in the coffee mixture.
You will also need to add in a little water very gradually until the mixture just begins to come together.
This can easily be misjudged so be cautious when adding the water!
Top the cake with the icing and in an ideal world decorate with chocolate coated coffee beans which I adore. Sadly, my cake lacks the beans!
You may have noticed (from the cut layers) that I had intended to call this a layer cake as the recipe suggests. But, I found that the icing in the recipe did not really lend itself to being used in the layers. It just got lost. Also, the recipe for THREE layers of icing called for a mere 100g icing sugar. This only covered half of one layer for me.
I ended up using over half a packet of icing sugar to coat the three layers and you can’t really taste the icing in the lower layers. I think the sponge itself is so delicious that one single layer of coffee icing is more than enough. The rest is just a waste of calories!