Part of my husband's Christmas present to me was a 2 day Cookery course, which included making and decorating cakes.
I went to the first day last Saturday and brought home this Moka cake. We made tuiles and langues de chats too, but they were eaten before I had a chance to take a photo! I asked, and got, permission from the tutor to put this recipe on my blog, so it's legal, but I've written it in my own words anyway.
It's quite a complicated cake, and it pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it's worthwhile making for an occasion. As it was Mothering Sunday last w/e, it was the perfect special cake for tea.
It's a Genoese sponge cake which is cut in half and sprinkled with some coffee syrup. Then you make some crème au beurre [it's much posher than a buttercream, hence the French term!] and use this to fill the sponge, to cover the cake and to pipe around the top of the finished cake. It's a luxurious 'treat yourself' kind of cake.
For the Genoese cake:
225g caster sugar
A 20cm springform cake tin and a sugar thermometer
100g granulated sugar
2 tbspns strong black coffee or coffee extract
Crème au beurre:
150g granulated sugar
2 egg whites
225g unsalted butter
10g vanilla sugar
50g grilled flaked almonds
Preheat oven 160C/gas3
Use the 15g of butter to grease the cake tin.
For the cake:
Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and set over a simmering saucepan. Beat with a wire whisk till doubled in size and warm when you touch it. Take the bowl off and beat till cold.
Beat in the sieved flour then pour into the tin.
Bake for 18-20 mins and don't open the oven door [a couple of people on the course had to have a look and their cakes were flat!].
Cool on a wire rack.
For the coffee syrup:
Boil the sugar and water together over medium heat for 5 mins. Let it cool a bit and then add the coffee.
For the crème au beurre:
Cook the sugar and water till it registers 220 on the sugar thermometer [or you can drop a bit of the syrup into some cold water and you should be able to make a soft ball when you roll it between your fingers].
Beat the egg whites to a stiff peak, then slowly add the boiling syrup beating all the time. Keep beating until the mixture is cold.
Soften the butter till creamy, then add the vanilla sugar and fold in the egg whites. Add a few drops of coffee essence to give it a bit of colour.
Cut the cake across and sprinkle the cut surfaces with the syrup.
Put cake onto a plate and spread the bottom half with some of the cream and put the other half on top.
Using a spatula dipped from time to time in water, spread some cream over the top and side of the cake, keeping as bit back to decorate the top.
Coarsely chop up the grilled almonds and press them over the top and side of the cake.
Put the rest of the cream into a piping bag with a fluted nozzle and pipe around the top edge of the cake.
Chill the cake in the fridge for a few hours before using.
Like I said earlier, this cake really took me out of my comfort zone. I hadn't made this kind of butter cream before - I really had to concentrate hard pouring the boiling syrup into the egg whites. I feel very proud of my effort - it's good to learn new techniques. The second day of the course is next month, and we'll be using yeast and making some biscuits.
And the cake? Lovely flavour from the coffee [I bought some extract from Lakeland], a light sponge cake, delicious cream filling, and added texture from the almonds. A little piece of heaven!