Tuesday, June 16, 2009

That's A Latte Cake!

You know you've got a baking problem when you convert a shortcut cake mix recipe into a from scratch recipe. Last week, for Hub's birthday I made him a Latte cake. It was a three step program, this cake was, despite it being a cake mix concoction. It was good- unsusual and a little sophisticated. Ever since, I've been thinking on how to make it even better, more homemade. I used a simple butter cake recipe for the base and mixed in a cup of strong espresso. For the next cafe fab layer I substituted condensed milk for dulce leche and stirred in more espresso- poked holes in the cake base and let this coffee-like syrup seep through. And then for the foam on the latte? Slightly sweetened whipped cream with a neat sprinkling of cocoa powder. This is one for those who love the flavor of coffee, the strong smokiness of it, and the bittersweet taste.

Latte Cake
Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl combine 1 c. butter, softened, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 sugar, 1 tbsp. vanilla extract, 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour, mix well. Add 3/4 c. very strong espresso. Mix well. Pour into a greased baking pan, and bake for 35-45 minutes until cake passes toothpick test. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes then with stem of wooden spoon, poke holes at 1 " intervals in cake. In a medium bowl mix 1 14 oz. can of condensed milk with 1/3 c. v. strong espresso and 1 tbsp. rum, it should be porable and syrupy in constistency (if too thick, microwave for 30 seconds). Pour over the poked cake and let cool for about 2 hours. In a med. bowl beat 1 c. whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 2 tbsp. powdered sugar- until firm. Spread thickly over cake. Sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on top.
PS: Upon further consideration I've decided that this cake needs a further makeover, beginning with the cake base. The butter cake is too dense, this cake needs a fluffier lighter cake that will be completely absorbed by the syrup. Also, the espresso mixed into the condensed milk needs to be very strong. I'll be revisiting this one.

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