Coffee Cream Cake


This is an old recipe my mum used to use when she was a cookery demonstrator in the sixties*. It was a particular favourite with the ladies who came to watch the demonstrations. It would make an appearance as weekend pudding throughout my childhood. I forgot all about it for years until the other day when something, I don't know what, reminded me of it. Mum has lost the original recipe but it turned out to be very easy to recreate.


It is simply a plain cake doused with coffee and covered in whipped cream. Moist and rich but much less sweet than a cake covered with icing.


I think that my mum and her colleagues would have made sure that every inch of the cake was soaked with coffee. As you can see there are patches in my cake where the coffee has not penetrated. I considered making a second cake and attempting perfection but as this is the cake my family ate with much enjoyment I decided that it was perfect enough.

Coffee Cream Cake

Grease and line the base of an 8 inch (20cm) deep cake tin

Put the following ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well
6oz (170g) self-raising flour, 
6oz (170g) soft butter
6oz (170g) caster sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 180°c (160°c fan oven) for 35-40 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for until it is cool enough for you to invert it onto a plate. This will give you a nice flat surface to spread the cream on, it's not essential though.

Make about 5 fl oz (150ml) of coffee. I used instant coffee and cold water, mum says the original recipe used Camp Coffee Essence which I think would have been sweetened.

Pour the coffee gradually over the cake. Tilting the plate will help the coffee penetrate every part of the cake. As you pour it's a good idea to carefully lift the edges of the cake to see if the coffee has begun to seep out of the cake. If it has, then you probably have enough coffee in your cake.

Next whip up about 7 fl oz (200ml) double cream and spread all over the top and sides of the cake. Store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it. Leftovers must also be stored in the fridge and eaten up fairly quickly because of the cream.

Freezing tip
The cake without the coffee and cream will freeze well making it handy for emergency Can't Be Arsed puddings (see previous post), just make sure you have some cream and coffee around.

Variations

I haven't tried it but I think there's probably room for alcohol in this cake -a splash of Tia Maria or rum with the coffee.

A mocha version. I haven't tried this either but I think it would be good. Make a simple chocolate cake with cocoa and proceed as above. Some grated chocolate sprinkled over the cream perhaps.




* A job which involved showing housewives how to use electric cookers and other appliances and also occasionally skivvying for the likes of Fanny Cradock (a bitch by all accounts), Marguerite Patten and Mary Berry (both very nice).

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Comments

  1. That looks rather delicious and I like the idea of adding Tia Maria...

    I have heard nothing good about Fanny Craddock, I don't envy your Mum working with her.

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  2. This rings some bells from a long time ago, I've copied it down to try, mocha sounds good. A posh desert for visitors I think.

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  3. I suspect that I could have guessed that about Fanny! Good to know that the others were nice though. The cake sounds great and would make a lovely dinner party dessert, especially with a splash of some Tia Maria in there as you suggest! xx

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  4. This looks fabulous, Sue. I've always had a huge soft spot for coffee-flavoured cake.

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  5. As I tipple/stipple backwards in time, with my stout legs flailing over my head, my mind is filling of the many (like dozens) of times I have made this recipe. Headlong I rush over to my bible of the 70's 'The Cooking Year' absolutely convinced the recipe is there. But no, my memory deceives me. I can see the many and various forms; all baked in a large ring mould, always with real coffee and booze. Turned out I masked the cake with cream, chopped roasted hazelnuts and if there were guests to impress, I would call the piping bag into play... I'm not proud. Modestly I would accept their praise, thinking all the while... if only you knew what a breeze this recipe was.

    Thanks for the memory.

    LLX

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    1. And it is indeed a breeze. It's lovely to hear someone else remembers this cake.

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  6. Super, I too will give this one a try. I do like coffee cake but what puts me off making one half the time is the buttercream icing bit. I always seem to get a headache after sieving icing sugar! Is that a bit weird? X

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    1. It's difficult to avoid inhaling icing sugar when you're sieving it. It can't be good for you can it?

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  7. It can't be, can it? I will maybe try wearing a sanding mask next time buttercream is required, in the hope of preserving my already slightly addled brain...

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  8. Looks good, and nice and easy too. Fanny Craddock was a monster, I always thought; she used to be vile to Johnny - on the telly!! - heaven knows what she was like with him in private!

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  9. Oo, blimey. I still haven't recovered from your last post, haha. Sounds gooorgeous - must try. Regarding the comments on your last post, my Mum used to do the grilled toast and sugar thing too. Jen

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  10. oh my mum also used to make something like this in the 60s/70s. she got very fancy and called it a gateau. that means layers :) so you take your sponge cake and slice it through. If you buy your sponge, which she mostly did, it is already in 2 slices and then you make it into 4 layers. you drizzle the coffee on each sponge layer and you put cream between them, pile it up, put cream on top and refrigerate. The height of decadence was to crumble a flake bar on the top!

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    1. I like your mum's style. Gateaux used to be so popular didn't they?

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  11. Anonymous7:04 pm BST

    This sounds like tres leches cake. Cake is soaked in three types of milk and frosted with whipped cream. Yum!

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  12. I remember this cake. It also reminded em of another CBA pudding I used to make . A packet of ginger nut/snap biscuits soaked in sherry and spread with cream, stuck together and assembled as a log and more cream spread around it. Looked a bit like a yule log and once the sherry/brandy/whatever alcohol you wanted had soaked into the pudding it was all rather tasty.

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    1. Oh yes, I know that one too, thanks for reminding me Lizzi.

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    2. Anonymous4:53 am BST

      In America, we use crispy chocolate wafers (aka, biscuits). My mother made it, much to my delight, when I was growing up. I have to chuckle, as an American, there's a good bit of terminology here (other than your description of the heretofore unknown Fanny) that I don't understand. Not unlike watching British imports on TV, where half the conversation slips by me. I've been staring at the photo for a while, longing for it, and wondering how you had the patience to take photos before diving in. I couldn't have waited. Then I decided you and your family ate half the cake, and afterwards you cut another slice and photographed that. I would have eaten that one, too, after everyone left the room. Cleaned up the crumbs on the plate. Straightened the uneven slicing job. Definitely will be making this and experimenting with flavors, likewise the ginger biscuit one. Thanks. To h*** with trying to lose weight.

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    3. Yes, we ate half on Saturday evening and I took photos of the remaining cake on Sunday morning. We polished it off (is that a Britishism?) on Sunday evening.

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  13. Hey Sue,
    Coffee cake is a favourite around here. I've always made a buttercream icing, but I like the idea of cream. I knew Mary Berry would be nice. I'm glad you've confirmed it.
    Leanne xx

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  14. Oh wow! I had forgotten all about that cake. I think I used to make it at school. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :-)

    Smallpx

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  15. Not the least surprised to hear about Fanny. You could see it in her eyes!! x

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  16. Pati from London1:44 pm BST

    Love the idea of the alcohol in it....;-) Pati x

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  17. Sue, the cake looks delicious. I'm making note of this recipe to try when autumn arrives. I don't usually heat the oven up during summer. Don't want to add to the warmth of my apartment. Still...I might make an exception for this cake.

    I think I once saw a British police drama (possibly New Tricks) that had a plot featuring a female celebrity chef who was a rather nasty piece of work. Wonder if the plot was inspired by true life?

    xo

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    1. I know the episode you mean Frances, and yes, Fanny Cradock was undoubtedly the inspiration. She effectively destroyed her own career by being unforgivably rude on tv to a lady who had won a cookery competition.

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    2. Sue, thank you for confirming that my memory's still holding on.

      I have so enjoyed the info and inspiration from An Everlasting Meal (checked out from the library) that I have given a birthday gift copy to my brother who's much better in the kitchen than I am, and also ordered a copy for myself. And a mortar and pestle in a larger size than the one I've had for years, that just never seemed to quite be up to the job.

      I'm forecasting much more delicious and thrifty meals around here in the months to come.

      xo

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  18. That cake sounds so simple and yet so tasty. I'll definitely give it a go.

    I love that your Mum worked with so many great cooks, I always though Fanny Craddock had a pinched face, surely a sign of a spiteful nasty person, and now you've confirmed my thoughts, whereas Mary Berry is lovely.

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