06 January 2009

Sour Cream Espresso Cake

Some technical difficulties have kept me off the internet and my first (nearly) two week vacation in years meant I was out of the kitchen but now that I am (sadly) back at work and the normal routine I will be back to posting and visiting your blogs.

There were a few things I made before the break that the internet problems have prevented me from posting that I'll put up now with a slight warning-- this was finally finished with the semester and its the holidays so I can eat whatever I want kind of food. This really hasn't worked out that well for me so you can expect healthier recipes to come.

But back to the task at hand. As soon as I saw Sue's post about Sunny Anderson's mini espresso cakes I knew I had to make them. Immediately. Luckily the semester was winding down so I thought some baking would help me relax and be more focused on my papers (at least that's what I told myself) . I followed the recipe pretty closely with just a few modifications. Instead of using 2 eggs and 2 yolks, I just used 3 eggs as Sue had successfully done. Also, I ended up using freeze dried coffee crystal instead of espresso powder. I had never bought either before and as Trader Joe's had only one kind of instant coffee, that's what I went for.

As I had no idea what the equivalent espresso powder to coffee crystal ratio was, I decided on a third of a cup. The recipe calls for you to mix the coffee with the sour cream to hydrate it and I gave this a taste to try to gauge whether it needed more coffee. It was so bitter I was a bit afraid I had ruined the whole thing! I pressed on though as I didn't want to be wasteful, and the final batter was so good, like coffee ice cream, but thicker and richer that I knew the cake would turn out. Since I didn't have mini loaf pans, I baked three small cakes in three random pans/molds. I brought one to work, gave one away and kept one for home.

Judging by how quickly the cakes disappeared, they went over really well. The cake is incredibly moist and has a strong but not overwhelming coffee flavor. I really should have told people that each cake had the equivalent of 7 cups of coffee though...

One last note-- the sour cream makes this cake so moist it keep fresh for 4-5 days on the counter and would a great one to mail to friends.

Sour Cream Espresso Cake
Makes 3-4 mini cakes
Adapted from Sunny Anderson

2.5 C (300g) flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 C (250 ml) sour cream
1/3 C instant coffee crystals (should have the metric equivalent soon)
1 C (225g) butter, softened
1.5 C (300g) sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour your pans.

- In a small bowl mix sour cream and coffee crystals. Set aside.

- In another bowl, combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt.

- In your mixer bowl,* cream together butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture. Let in incorporate before adding half the sour cream, then the rest of the flour and sour cream.

- Pour the batter into the pans and bake for approx. 40 minutes or until the cake has pulled slightly away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool and eat.

* You certainly don't need a stand mixer to make this recipe but I wasn't quite sure what else to call the bowl.


Sue said...

I'm so glad you and your tasters loved it too. It's really a winning recipe. Yours look so pretty too.

kat said...

What a great little treat!

Vera said...

Jen, the cake looks yummy! 1/3 cup of coffee powder - the cake must be also very energizing :) Happy New Year!

Jen said...

Vera-- I sort of forgot to tell a friend how much coffee was actually in the cake and lets just say she got quite a caffeine buzz.