I am huddled under my quilt enjoying the cool blast of the AC, the room darkened against the morning sun, enjoying a rare, late morning in bed, when suddenly the bedroom door bursts open and in walk the 2 men in my life shouting “Happy Mother’s Day” and Mr.13 is all over me ….poking his bones into my ribs, giving me wet kisses and basically trying to show Love and then I suddenly spot “Mr. 40 something” with a tray in his arms laden with tea and breakfast. OMG!! I am shocked, electrified and rudely jerked out of a morning dream. I throw the quilt aside, yank open the bedroom door and run to my kitchen. Pheeew!! its intact! So it was just a Mother’s Day dream….reality of this kind isn’t welcome.
Since it was my special day the boys expected Me to bake My favourite cake (oh thank god for small mercies). You see, I was given a choice….isn’t that nice??!! So ofcourse I got my old tattered file off the shelf and browsed through the pages to come up with one of my favourites….Coffee Cake, which I hadn’t baked in a long time and wanted to try a few stunts with. So we (all 3) got cracking (literally). “Mr.40 something” took to the cutting board and chopped up the nuts, Mr.13 was assigned the task of hunter and gatherer of ingredients, while I took it on myself to Lord over the 2 menials.
The recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking and honestly doesn’t need any working… the sponge is soft cloudy almost cottony and the streusel (topping) has a perfect level of sweetness. The cake is low on sweetness but the topping grabs the attention of your taste buds. But a coffee cake and no hint of coffee? well, well, that won’t do! On Epicurious I came across a coffee cake that was so overdone with coffee, it was enough to give me a 3 day caffeine kick. But it had this fantastic idea….adding a coffee-chocolate layer to the cake. So I have done just that….a mix of nuts, chocolate, coffee and sugar add a rich, moistness to the cake just the right amount of coffee taste that doesn’t overpower the other aspects of the cake. The streusel is sandwiched between the cake and also forms a crunchy topping. I must warn you to add a little more than half the streusel to the centre layer. Don’t top the cake with too much topping as it tends to loosen and fall.
Mr.13 who is a big fan of coffee was absolutely over the moon, but “Mr.40 something” ….well, he liked the sponge. Can’t make everyone happy and it was Mother’s Day so the general consensus was “Humour Mom”. For me, Mother’s Day or any other day for that matter doesn’t have to be about celebrations, cards, gifts or flowers. To me, its about knowing that 2 men in my life love me to bits, will happily twist themselves around my little finger and though they may not share my passion or tastes in cakes, they slogged in the kitchen (under strict supervision) helping make a cake I loved, just to make me feel special and then made audacious remarks like “Wouldn’t a sponge cake have been simpler….but this is good too” 🙂
COFFEE, COFFEE CAKE
1 cup mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds , cashews)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbspn. flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
140 grms. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tspn. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
80 grms. semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup mixed nuts, ground to a coarse powder
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1 tblspn. or the sugar
- Choc-coffee swirl: Melt the chocolate, butter over a double boiler, stir occasionally till the chocolate and butter melt. Take it off the heat and add in the coffee, sugar and nuts. Stir to mix in all the ingredients well. Leave aside to cool or refrigerate.
- Topping: Chop the nuts into tiny bits. In a small bowl mix together the chopped nuts, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar and chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Oil and flour a 9 inch cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- preheat the oven to 175 C
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
- In a large bowl whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well between additions. Add the vanilla and beat in. add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the yogurt. Start and end with the flour. After you add the last o the flour fold in with a spatula until just mixed in. The mixture will be thick.
- Empty half the cake mix into your prepared tin and spread it with a spatula into an even layer. Drop dollops of the chocolate coffee mix onto the batter to cover the surface. Make swirls lightly with a butter knife or back of a spoon. Top it with more than half the streusel, making an even layer.
- Top with the remaining batter and repeat with the choc-coffee mix and streusel. Gently press down the topping with your fingers.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the topping browns too much, cover with a foil.
- Let cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.