I was surprised when H asked me to make a coffee cake because she doesn't like coffee. She never drinks it. In fact I don't think she's ever drunk it!
So I rooted out this recipe that my old friend Erika used to make. She's a clever lady, a Biochemist. The last time I spoke to her she was researching at the famous Paterson labs in Manchester, and writing all sorts of interesting articles. I haven't seen her for years but we had some great times together.
Like the time we drove to Paris in Bluebird her little old bright blue VW Beatle with two other friends when I was about 20...The adventures we had in that car. Like accidentally driving off with a gendarme's helmet on the bonnet. He was helping us to reverse after we'd stayed in a hotel in a tiny village and awoke the next morning to find the market traders had blocked us in. He was jumping up and down as we drove away, merrily waving 'au revoir' to him...with his hat wobbling on top...
...To a midnight drive through the middle of the Bois de Boulogne looking for a hotel, naively unaware that at night time this beautiful park is a famous red light district! We eventually stopped in a little hamlet where all the hotels were closed...and ended up sleeping in the freezing car until first light when a cafe, that looked like a stage set from Amelie opened up, and rotund elderly men started filing in for coffee,croissants and cognac...we followed suit...
...if I drank cognac now I think it would be the perfect tipple to quaff with this cake...
Erika'a Coffee Cake
- 6oz flour
- 6oz butter
- 6oz sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 dessertspoon coffee or coffee essence
This is depends on your taste fresh cream with a little coffee and icing sugar would work.
I made butter icing with unrefined icing sugar which gives a lovely caramel flavour and a little made up instant coffee for the filling. And drizzled the top with icing made from unrefined icing sugar and made up instant coffee.
Had I been making this for grown-ups and not H I would have used espresso.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat the eggs and add a little at a time.
- Fold in the flour and coffee.
- Put into a greased baking pan, or two separate ones.
- Bake 190c/375f/Gas mark 5. I used two small 15cm/6in pans and they baked in half an hour.
- Leave to cool on a rack.
- When cooled sandwich together with the butter icing or cream and then drizzle with icing.