Coffee Fudge Cake with a Versatile Coffee Fudge Icing

I absolutely love coffee cake. I don’t make it as often as I’d like though as I tend to bake cakes that everyone in my house will eat, and my son detests coffee! Luckily for me, it is a good friend’s favourite cake so I can make one and give her half of it. Sharing is caring, as they say. Whoever they are. But anyway, as I’m in a sharing kind of mood, I thought I’d share this scrumptious recipe with you. I don’t know where the recipe originally came from, but a friend gave it to me after I fell in love with the cake when she made it. She has a huge folder of recipes and this one was handwritten in there from about 20 years ago, so no idea where it is from.

This makes a delicious, fairly dense cake which is flavoured with Camp Coffee, a chicory and coffee essence. It tastes exactly like coffee though. I keep a bottle of Camp Coffee in my house just to make this cake as it is perfect for it. The cake is filled and topped with a coffee fudge icing which I could quite happily eat straight out of the bowl. The icing sets to a fudge-like consistency which is so irresistible. I top mine with chopped walnuts as coffee and walnut is such a classic combination, but you can leave the nuts out if you don’t like them.

As the cake is quite dense, it is ideal for baking in a bundt pan, as it will hold it’s shape beautifully. The icing would pour down over the bundt perfectly and then set in all the crevices. I do usually make it as a bundt but decided to do it in a normal cake tin this time, as not everyone has bundt pans in their cupboards.

A quick word about the icing… the longer you beat it, the thicker it becomes as it cools down. This is fine if you are spreading it on a normal cake. If you want to use it to pour it over a bundt though, you’ll need to beat it until it thickens slightly but is still fairly runny. It will start to firm up as it hits the cold cake, so you don’t want it too thick beforehand. Also, because it sets as it cools, do not make this until your cake is cool and you are ready to use it. It will just go too hard if you leave it on the side while your cake cools.

You could use the icing for many other things as well as this cake. It would be delicious poured warm over ice cream, although you wouldn’t need to make as much. You could use it as a layer in a chocolate and coffee tart or to top a traybake. You could use it as a filling for doughnuts. The list is endless. It is ideal for so many things as it sets so well. You could even let it firm up a bit and then roll into balls, flatten, cover in chocolate and there you have delicious coffee cream truffles!

 

COFFEE FUDGE CAKE

FOR THE CAKE:

170g unsalted butter, softened

170g soft light brown sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsps Camp Coffee (or coffee essence)

170g self-raising flour, sifted

 

FOR THE ICING:

55g unsalted butter

110g soft light brown sugar

3 tbsps Camp Coffee (or coffee essence)

2 tbsps single cream

200g icing sugar, sifted

 

TO DECORATE (OPTIONAL):

50g chopped walnuts

 

TO MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180C conventional/ 160C Fan oven. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin, or 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. (I prefer to make it in one deep cake tin).
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and Camp Coffee/coffee essence. (If it looks like the mixture is starting to curdle, add a spoonful of the flour and continue mixing until it is smooth again).
  • Tip the flour in to the bowl and, using a large spoon or spatula, gently fold it in until it is all combined and there are no lumps of flour.
  • Pour the mixture into your prepared tin(s). If baking it in one tin, bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until springy to touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If baking it in 2 tins, bake for around 20 minutes, or until springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin(s) for 5 minutes then turn out on to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • If you have used one tin, split your cake in half horizontally when it is cool.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

  • Place the butter, sugar, Camp Coffee/coffee essence and single cream into a saucepan, and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and gradually add the icing sugar, mixing well after each addition. Beat with a wooden spoon until all the lumps disappear and the mixture is smooth and silky.
  • Continue beating for about 2 minutes until the icing is thick enough to spread. Use immediately.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

  • Place one layer of the cake on your serving plate. Pour half of the coffee icing on to it and spread all over evenly. Place the other cake layer on top, and pour the rest of the icing on top of this. Spread evenly to completely cover it. (If the icing is getting too thick, dip your palette knife or spatula in warm water to make the spreading easier).
  • While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the chopped walnuts over, if using.

 

I hope you love this as much as I do. If you like coffee, I think you’ll become a little bit addicted to the icing! Enjoy 🙂

 

Ferrero Rocher Chocolate and Hazelnut Bundt

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My Nordic Ware bundt pan addiction reached new levels of crazy in March when I went on holiday to Florida. It was my first time in the US and my son and my partner were both ridiculously excited about Disney World, Universal Studios, and all those types of places. What were my thoughts? They were along the lines of… “Yaaaaaaaayyyy America! The home of Nordic Ware! Bundt pans!!!!”

Nordic Ware are celebrating their 70th Anniversary and to mark the occasion brought out 3 new stunning gold pans. I really really really wanted these, especially the Crown pan, which I used for the big bundt in the picture. An afternoon going round shops in Florida proved fruitless. The only bundt pans I saw were ones I already had at home. I couldn’t bear the thought of coming home with no pans so in desperation I contacted the lovely people at Nordic Ware in America. To cut a long story short, they went to so much trouble to make sure I received the Crown and they displayed levels of customer service not often seen in companies in the UK. They also made sure there was one for my Bundt Twin Rob, who has a great blog you can find HERE.

As well as loving Nordic Ware so much, I also love Ferrero Rocher chocolates (who doesn’t!?) and Monin Syrups. I love using these syrups in baking and used them in  this No-Bake Rose and Pistachio Cheesecake and  this Black Forest Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake previously. I had a little bottle of their Hazelnut Syrup so decided to use that in this bundt.

This bundt is a chocolate and hazelnut cake with Ferrero Rochers baked in to it. It is covered with a delicious chocolate ganache and then finally sprinkled with chopped toasted hazelnuts. I used chopped hazelnuts to just decorate the bottom curves, then sprinkled ground hazelnuts all over the rest of the bundt, but you can decorate it as you please. When baking with Ferrero Rochers, they have a tendency to shrink as the outer coating melts into the cake. If you are making small quickly baked cakes such as cupcakes, freezing the chocolates before use prevents this and leaves a runny chocolate centre. However, as bundt cakes take much longer to bake the chocolates will shrink. They will still be visible when you cut the cake and most imortantly, they still taste exactly as they should. This recipe made enough cake mix to fill a 10 cup pan and then to make some Geo Bundlettes. You can use the remaining batter to make cupcakes if you want, or bundlettes.

FERRERO ROCHER CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT BUNDT CAKE

250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

190 g soft light brown sugar

190 g golden caster sugar

340 g plain flour

half level tsp bicarbonate of soda

half level tsp salt

1 level tsp baking powder

25 g cocoa powder

25 g ground hazelnuts

200 g milk or dark chocolate, or a combination of both, broken into pieces

4 large eggs, beaten

200 ml buttermilk

100 ml Monin Hazelnut Syrup

at least 10 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, frozen

FOR THE GANACHE:

300 ml double cream

250 g dark chocolate, or a combination of dark and milk chocolate, chopped into pieces

chopped or ground toasted hazelnuts, to decorate

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/fan oven 150C. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan using your preferred method. (See extra information at the end of the recipe).
  • In a large bowl, or using a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. This will take 5-10 minutes.
  • In another bowl, sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, baking powder, cocoa and ground hazelnuts, and mix well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
  • Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally, and remove from the heat when it is nearly all melted. Continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Mix the eggs, buttermilk and hazelnut syrup together in a large jug, then slowly add the cooled chocolate, stirring continuously.
  • Pour half of the eggy chocolate mixture into the bowl with the butter and sugar and beat well until combined. Add half of the flour mixture, and again beat well. Pour the remaining half of the wet mixture into the bowl and continue beating until smooth, then use a large spoon or spatula to fold the remaining flour mixture in, until completely combined.
  • Spoon the mix into the prepared bundt pan until the pan is half full. Arrange the Ferrero Rocher chocolates on the mixture, leaving a gap between each so the cake can rise around them.
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  • Cover the chocolates with more cake batter until the pan is no higher than three quarters full. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Make sure you don’t push the skewer through a Ferrero Rocher!!! You’ll be able to feel where they are with the skewer.
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn out on to a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
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  • To make the ganache, pour the double cream into a saucepan and heat gently until just starting to boil. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a bowl, then pour the cream over it. Leave for a few minutes, then mix well until all the chocolate has melted and is smooth.
  • Place a large tray or a piece of greaseproof paper under your cooling rack. Slowly pour the ganache all over the cooled bundt cake, making sure every part is covered. The tray underneath will catch the dripping ganache. Sprinkle with chopped or ground toasted hazelnuts and leave on the rack for a while to make sure it has finished dripping. Transfer to a serving plate or cake stand and enjoy!

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EXTRA NOTES ABOUT BUNDTS

Two things have been causing quite a bit of conversation and debate regarding bundts. First is how to prepare the tin. I know of people who use melted butter and flour or cocoa to grease their pans with success, but my method of choice has to be to use Wilton Cake Release. You just shake the bottle well and use a pastry brush to brush it into all the details and every part of your pan. I have never known anyone to have a stuck bundt using this method.

The second thing I have been asked about is how to wash the pans. A few people are advising against using Fairy Platinum washing liquid, saying it strips the non-stick coating. I can honestly say I have only used that washing up liquid on all my pans and I have no problems. I think as long as you don’t leave them to soak (and if you use Cake Release you won’t need to) then in my personal experience there won’t be a problem. To wash pans, I put them in hot soapy water, then use a pastry brush to wipe every nook and cranny over. This removes any last traces of Cake Release and any little crumbs, so your pan is good as new again. Rinse well under hot running water and leave to dry.

Monin Syrups are available from Udal Supplies Ltd. or Next Day Coffee.

Wilton Cake Release is available from Lakeland, or Amazon, or most cake supplies shops.

Black Forest Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake

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I have 2 addictions in life… Nordic Ware bundt tins and the Costa Coffee Festive menu drinks, in particular the Black Forest Hot Chocolate. The Nordic Ware addiction is an all year long one, but sadly the Costa Coffee one is limited to one month a year when the Festive menu appears. Or at least it was! Tassimo coffee machines were selling ridiculously cheaply in the Black Friday sales online a few months ago so we bought one. As soon as my sister found out, she went online and bought me the exact syrups that Costa use in my favourite drink so I could make them at home too! (She bought me the rose one too as everyone knows I adore rose in all forms… flower, scent, and flavour). She even bought me the bottle pourer as well to make drizzling the cherry syrup easier!

Anyway I’m waffling. In case you’ve never tried one this is what the Black Forest Hot Chocolate looks like:

Picture courtesy of Costa

A delicious hot chocolate mixed with blackberry syrup, topped with slightly sweetened fresh cream, drizzled with a yummy cherry sauce and chocolate curls sprinkled on top to finish. Sheer indulgent heaven! I was making one at home and the idea came to me to make a cake version of it! I had the syrups so started planning. I decided to make it as a bundt and thought a flat-topped tin would be best so that I could pipe cream on top, so I made it in the Star shaped tin. Until now THIS has been my favourite bundt recipe that I have created, but I have to admit the Black Forest one has knocked it off top spot for me.

I was asked once why I use buttermilk in my bundts whereas other people use yoghurt. It is just personal preference. Both serve the same purpose but I always have buttermilk in the fridge. Buttermilk, like yoghurt, reacts with bicarbonate of soda, causing harmless carbon dioxide gas. This gas helps bakes to rise and makes them light and fluffy. I use it in scones all the time for that reason too. Enough science, here’s the recipe. It looks like a huge list of ingredients but most of it is store cupboard essentials.

BLACK FOREST HOT CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE

FOR THE CAKE:

250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

190 g golden caster sugar

190 g soft light brown sugar

340 g plain flour

half level tsp bicarbonate of soda

half level tsp salt

1 level tsp baking powder

25 g cocoa powder

4 large eggs, beaten

200 ml buttermilk

200 g milk chocolate (or a combination of dark and milk chocolate), broken into pieces

8 tbsp (120 ml) Monin blackberry syrup

FOR THE DECORATION:

250 ml fresh double cream

1 level tbsp icing sugar

Monin Cherry syrup

extra chocolate

  • Grease a 10-12 cup bundt tin well with Cake Release, or melted butter and flour. (Or you could try this in normal cake tins). Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, and leave until almost completely melted, stirring once or twice. Remove from the heat and stir until totally smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
  • In another bowl, sieve together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa). I like to quickly mix with a spoon after sieving cocoa and flour together to make sure it is thoroughly combined and there are no white powders left.
  • In a large jug mix the wet ingredients together (beaten eggs, buttermilk, melted chocolate and blackberry syrup).
  • Add half of the wet ingredient mixture to the butter and sugar and beat well until combined. Add half of the dry ingredient mixture and gently fold in with a large spoon or spatula. Fold in the last half of the wet ingredients, followed by the remaining dry ingredient mixture until completely combined. (This was the perfect amount of blackberry syrup flavour for me and tasted the same as how Costa serve it. However, taste a bit of the mixture and if you like it stronger add an extra tbsp of syrup now).
  • Pour into your prepared tin until no higher than three quarters full, then place in the centre of the oven and bake for around 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. (Don’t worry if the top has cracked, it will be on the bottom when served). Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • When it is completely cool, place on to a serving plate.Whisk together the cream and icing sugar until it forms very soft peaks. (When you pipe cream it thickens rapidly in the piping bag so don’t over-whisk it now). Spoon into a piping bag and pipe on to the top of your bundt however you prefer. I just did simple rosettes. Nothing fancy. Pipe more around the bottom as well. (If your bundt tin design allows, pipe extra cream around the sides too).
  • Drizzle Monin cherry syrup all over the cream letting it come down the sides too. Use a potato peeler to make curls of chocolate (just “peel” down the side of a row of chocolate) and sprinkle them on top to finish. Or you can crumble a Flake on top.

And there you have the cake version of the famous drink. Obviously it is EXTREMELY calorific so probably best just to make it for special occasions!!! My Other Half ate 2 slices straight after each other, and said it tastes just like the drink. My son polished off a slice in record time too and said it was delicious. I put a picture of it on Twitter and have to admit I was overwhelmed by the response to it, so I hope you like it as much as we do.

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Obviously as there is fresh cream on top, this cake needs to be stored in the fridge. Remove it for a while before serving so the cream isn’t too cold. It is best eaten on the same day as cakes in fridges tend to go hard quickly. Or you could make the cake and only put the cream and decorations on individual slices when you serve them. That way you can keep the cake in an airtight container.

The best place to buy Monin syrups is from Udal Supplies. You can find the blackberry syrup HERE and the cherry one HERE. If you want the bottle pourer for easier drizzling of the cherry one on top, that can be found HERE.

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I have contacted Costa and asked if they would mind me making cake versions of more of their best-loved drinks. Let me know in the comments what your favourites ones are 🙂