coffee cake with coffee swiss meringue buttercream for dads
Today being Father's day, I had planned to post this coffee high cake in honour of the two fathers in my life- T and my dad who both have a thing for coffee, and so I am assuming most other dads do too.
My Dad drinks his cuppa several times a day and although he is one of the most easy going people ever, he is very specific about the way his coffee should be made. Even today I don't seem to make it just the way he likes it -it has to be just hot enough, with just the right amount of milk and topped with the exact tiny amount of froth.. It's much easier to make macarons than Dad's cup of coffee!
T is thankfully not as particular but likes his espresso straight up- no milk no sugar- full strength.
I was thinking about a special Father's Day message to begin this coffee cake post with and was chopping some onions to make a quick brunch, with my little toddler/tiny kitchen helper running around looking through my cabinets for his "lello" crayon to put the finishing touches on his hand drawn card for T, when it happened to me...
If you watch Top Chef or any of those cooking shows ( as I do obsessively) everytime someone is chopping onions invariably they will cut their finger. It happens so often it's almost predictable. Kitchen accidents are very very common, and yes the kitchen, even a stress free kitchen like the one at home is a dangerous place. I don't mean to scare you but I was reminded of the fact today, perhaps so that I can be more careful and aware!
As I was chopping the onion, the peel slipped and I cut my finger. It was not very deep or anything, but there was some blood and since there are lots of nerve endings on the fingertips- quite some pain. Being the wuss that I am, I got lightheaded was sure I was going to faint, and could see that my little kitchen helper was getting worried. Thankfully just then T walked into the kitchen and in my half-faint I immediately knew it was all ok, and so did the little one who joyfully jumped into his arms. And that's what fathers do- they make you feel like everything will be ok.
(I did not faint, the feeling passed in about half an hour- apparently its just adrenalin rushing and my finger is fine, just a little sore and bandaged. )
Happy Father's Day to T, the little one's hero, to my own wonderful daddy who has always been there for me through my childhood and terrible, terrible door slamming teens ( I cringe) all these years and to all fathers everywhere! Today seems just as good a day as any, to say thank you for all that you do and for having been there for us.
The cake is a light sponge cake flavored with a coffee liqueur syrup that keeps the sponge cake moist and I frosted the cake with a Coffee Swiss Meringue Butter cream frosting which I was trying for the first time.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is the frosting that most bakery cakes are made with, and commonly used for wedding and party cakes and usually used under fondant.This is because it is especially stable and will stay good and hold up for a longer time. It can even be made before hand and frozen! Yes frozen and then thawed in the fridge overnight before whipping it slightly on the day you plan to use it. Imagine the possibilities if you are the organized type: make a large batch of plain frosting and freeze in parts. When ready to use mix each part with different flavours and colours! (I don't think I can manage knowing about a large batch of frosting in the freezer- that might be quite dangerous- leading to baking of way too many cakes, just to frost them!)
Full disclosure : I think I now actually am more excited about baking cakes than eating them! And when I do eat cake, I actually prefer eating plain cakes like these. Once in a while I do get in the mood to eat a thin slice of layer cake with glorious frosting, though my favorite frosting ever is still this simple chocolate or nutella ganache, this cream cheese frosting and regular American buttercream. But because of it's long lasting nature I may consider Swiss Meringue Buttercream especially if I am making a party cake for many people and am worried about it holding up.
Ofcourse the reason behind me not liking the taste as much could be that I used salted butter when I made this because it was all I had, and have learnt my lesson. I will save my salted butter for my toast or salted caramels, NEVER use salted butter for frosting- it will taste way too salty!
My friends in India, that means no using (yummy) Amul butter here. Look for an unsalted version or brand.Am sure this would taste amazing made with home churned butter like my grandmother used to make back when she had cows and little crochet mesh covered jugs of fresh creamy milk.
Recipes used to make this Coffee Swiss Butter Cream Cake:
Swiss Meringue Buttercream from here. I just added 1/4 tsp of coffee powder, tasting and adding more if required while mixing. Do NOT use salted butter here! Though a tablespoon of Baileys or other coffee liqueur is totally acceptable :)
For a fantastic step by step tutorial on how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream see this, but remember to brace yourself because Rosie is just an artist with her cakes and you may become bewitched!
Also a friend who is a fabulous baker gave me this tip about using about 1/4th less butter than called for in most recipes to have a lighter frosting without that slick texture that this one had. Must try that next time.
I used the easy sponge cake from here and added some instant coffee powder to the batter.
But this would be equally good with my all time favourite chocolate cake here
Or my absolute favourite cake ever in the whole world, this fluffy and cloud-like whipped cream cake.
Actually Swiss Meringue Butter cream will go on anything and it is definitely worth learning for its versatility and stability and satiny smooth, fluffy texture.
For moistening the cake layers before filling and frosting: Use simple sugar syrup, a combination of equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar is dissolved to which flavorings like vanilla or in this cake- coffee liqueur and 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder were used and brush it over the two cake layers to moisten and flavour them. IF you like cake really moist, you can poke holes all over the cake with toothpicks and pour the syrup over the cake with a spoon.