Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coffee and almond crunch cake

I promised one of my lovely workmates I would bring a cake into work today as two of my friends there had birthdays during the week (in the two days following my youngest son's birthday :) ). Of course I didn't remember until last night, so I hadn't shopped for ingredients. I thought about making pecan and coffee cake, and had all the ingredients except an orange, but I was slow to get going this morning, and then decided even if I went and purchased the requisite orange, the cake might not cool down sufficiently to ice it before leaving. So I instead settled on another coffee cake which I have made once before - this recipe is from Gordon Ramsay's 'Cooking with Friends'. I first made it when the recipe appeared in Australian Delicious magazine when his book was released, and loved the cake so much I bought the book on the strength of this one recipe. It had two advantages for me today - firstly that I had all the ingredients needed on hand, and secondly, that there was no need to ice it as it has a streusel topping, so it wouldn't matter if it was a little warm still at the time I needed to leave. I could just dust it with icing sugar when I got to work just before serving.

The one thing I hadn't considered was that some people don't like really almondy food, and this cake is quite almondy with both almond meal and almond essence. Luckily everyone at work last night were almond fans, and the cake was well received! I'll have to make this again soon...

Streusel topping
  • 60g plain flour
  • 40g demerara sugar or brown sugar (I used demerara because I think it gives more of a crunch factor)
  • 40g butter
Cake batter
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 100g almond meal
  • 60ml espresso or strong coffee, cooled
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • icing sugar, for serving
Preheat oven to 150C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin.

Topping: Stir together the flour and sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Put aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg a bit at a time, mixing until well combined. (The mixture will probably look curdled at this point. If you want to, stir in a spoonful of the flour which will amalgamate the mixture evenly again.) Stir though the almond essence. Add half of the cooled espresso and stir. Then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through. Add the remaining espresso.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle over the topping mixture. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool slightly on a rack before removing from the pan. When completely cool, sift over icing sugar and cut into pieces to serve.

streusel topping

cake batter in pan

streusel topping sprinkled over batter


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