Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cake of the Week: Coffee Butterscotch Awesomeness

This cake is not messing around. There is some SERIOUS dessertage going on here – this cake is big, dense, and will pretty much rock your world…

Dun dun dunnnnn…

Let me back up and explain myself. Last week was LLC’s birthday. Thus, being the cake-a-holic cousin that I am, I obviously was going to bake her something fantabulous!  (Sidenote, Word did not pick that out as misspelled…should we be concerned? I mean, it’s not a real word!)

This cake was weeks in planning, and days in the making. But I’d say it was totally worth it. So what exactly is it, you’re probably wondering? It’s a 6-Layer Coffee Spice Cake with Butterscotch Walnut Filling and Vanilla Icing. Oh. Yeah.

The coffee spice cake comes from An Edible Mosaic’s Coffee Spice Cupcake recipe. The Butterscotch Walnut Filling you may remember from the best cake I ever made (though this baby may be a close rival).

And then just a sweet, simple vanilla icing to top it all off. Plus butterscotch chips for decoration, obviously! (It says 22, in case you can’t tell. I never said this was a cake-decorating blog!)

So let’s back up to last week and recap how this masterpiece came to be.

Part 1:

Like I said, I started with An Edible Mosaic’s cupcake recipe. I didn’t have Turkish coffee, so I used regular and ground it finely  (I think it would have been better if I had a real coffee-grinder…I just used my blender). Also, I didn’t have cardamom. I know, I know, that’s an important ingredient. But 3 grocery stores later, I decided that it just wasn’t worth it and doubled the allspice instead (why is it that when I need something I can never find it???).

And oh, this is important: I tripled the recipe. Because like I said, this cake is not messing around.

My cakes came out of the pans with a bit of stress (Ohmygodthey’regoingtostickandI’mgoingtodie!!!), but no major incident. I then waited until they were completely cooled, wrapped them in plastic, and popped them in the freezer.

Spiced Coffee Cupcakes 

(Yield:  12 cupcakes)

1 c white sugar

1 TB molasses

1/2 c canola oil

2 large eggs

1/2 c milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 TB good quality Turkish-ground coffee

1 1/3 c flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Cooking spray

Powdered sugar (optional, to dust the tops)

Cupcakes:  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 liners and lightly spray the inside of each liner with cooking spray.  Beat together the sugar, molasses, oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, and coffee.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and cardamom.  Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just enough to combine.  Transfer the batter to the prepared baking tray and bake for about 16-19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a crumb or two.  Dust the tops with powdered sugar if using.

Part 2 was the filling. I’ve already walked you through this, so check out that post. This time I 1 ½’ed the recipe. Because butterscotch is delicious.

Butterscotch Filling:

¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 – 1 oz. pieces

¾ cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts (optional)

 - To make the filling, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot (do not allow to boil or simmer).  Combine sugar and lemon juice in a separate saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand).  Caramelize the sugar for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps.  

- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the hot cream, one half at a time. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next piece. 

- Cool in the refrigerator 45 minutes. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachments and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until light (but nor fluffy).


Part 3:

Then it was time to assemble. I cut each cake in half, to make 6 layers. (To see how to cut a cake, click here.) It’s important to plan out the order of your layers. If you use a really dome-y one on the bottom, then the whole cake could be off-kilter. It probably won’t come out absolutely perfect though – so no worries, any imperfections can be covered in frosting.

I spread a generous amount of filling between each layer. Oh yum!

Part 4:

The frosting was easy. I didn’t really follow a recipe – I just added butter, sugar, vanilla and milk until it looked and felt right. If you want a vanilla frosting recipe – check out this one.

This cake made it all the way to LLC’s apartment in Glover Park for her birthday celebrations (which is why it’s not on my fancy cake-stand).

And I don’t mean to brag, but more than one person said it was the best cakes they’d ever eaten. Win!