This past weekend gave me another fantastic opportunity for a sugar high! My Father-in-Law’s birthday was the perfect excuse to put together my most beloved combination of cake and coffee. It is a pairing that is to die for, especially for coffee addicts like AK & I!
I was slightly bored of regular iced and frosted cakes. So I decided to bring in an element that I hadn’t used in a while – a crunchy topping instead of the usual stuff!
Here’s what I used:
2 cups fine powdered sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup very strong, very hot freshly brewed coffee (I used enough coffee grounds for about 5 cups coffee in 1 cup boiling water in my French Press. In case you don’t have a filter, percolater, French Press or an Espresso/ Cappuccino Maker, then mix about 5 tsp of instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water)
For the crunchy topping:
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup fine powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp instant coffee
(I told you this cake is full of caffeine!!)
Handful of walnuts, chopped finely
Here’s how I made it:
Firstly, I prepared my cake tin… I used a rectangular 11″ tin. I lined it with butter paper and lightly greased it with a little more oil. You can use butter, PAM/ Saffola spray as well.
I set the oven to pre-heat at 150 C/ 350 F. Then I cut up the butter (it should be cold, straight out of the fridge) into cubes on a plate…
In another plate, I mixed the other topping ingredients, except the walnuts. Here is the flour-oats-sugar-coffee mix.
I added this dry mix to the butter plate…
Then I rubbed the entire mix together, using my fingers till it became a big, crumbly, gloopy mess… If that makes sense… You can even use a pastry cutter. I would have used mine, if I could have found it in all the confusion!!
Then I added the walnuts to the mix…
I stirred it around one last time before settling the plate in the fridge to chill. The Delhi heat would have melted the entire mix in a minute!!
Now for the cake!! I sifted the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. I mixed this with the sugar in a bowl…
Made a well in the centre and cracked the eggs in it…
And beat it all up with my big bad electric mixer!!
After a good 2 minutes of beating on high, I paused and poured in the hot coffee…
After slapping his wrist for finishing my share of coffee too, I went on to mix the batter for just another 30 secs till it was all combined…
Then I poured the batter (see how thin and runny it is?!) into the tin…
Then I popped it in the oven for about 35 minutes. Since the batter was very thin, it would take about this much time for it to be about 85% set. Then I pulled it out (breaking the cardinal rule of cake baking – NEVER EVER take a cake out of the oven in the middle of baking) and sprinkled the topping evenly over it, crumbling it even more as I sprinkled…
Then I popped it back in, as quickly as I could, for another 15 mins. Pulled it out and allowed it to cool in the tin for about 15-20 mins…
Removed it from the tin by first running a knife between the cake & tin and then covering it with a tray. Then I inverted the tin so the cake came out on to the tray. Carefully peeling off the butter paper, I placed my serving tray on the inverted cake and flipped it back upright!! Sounds complicated but it’s as easy as pie (pun intended!).
I put the only birthday candle I could find on the cake and got my Father-in-Law to cut it (while we sang a VERY out-of-tune birthday song)… He almost refused to play along, by the way, because I didn’t have the right number of candles!!
(I would post a pic but my very messy after-dinner dining table provides an embarassing background!!)
And finally, served it up with some vanilla ice-cream!
Even if I do say so myself, the crunchy topping was a total game-changer!!