Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 Feb

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I recently saw Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall refer to chicken stock as a drink and watched in horror as he proceeded to take a big gulp of the stuff from a jug. I’m not sure what exactly it was that repulsed me so. I know that stock (decent stock) tastes good. I eat stuff containing stock all the time. Perhaps it was Hugh himself that turned my stomach. I guess I’ll never know for certain but one thing I do know is that my stomach was indeed turned. Not quite to the extent however as when I watched Rick Stein lolloping along the beach digging wildly into the sand with his bare hands to retrieve some fresh razor clams. He coaxed them from their shells and squished their slimy bodies into his mouth along with a shit-tonne of sand. Sand is something that should never be willingly put into the mouth. Never! The thought of that gritty sensation between my teeth gives me the shivers, much like my childhood memories of coffee cake.

When I was younger the only coffee cake I knew was Teatime Express. It was bland, the icing was gritty and sickly sweet and the fact that it would keep in the cupboard for years made me uneasy. Despite this shaky introduction to the world of coffee it’s something I’ve grown very fond of in recent years and so it was with great delight that I came upon a recipe for what turned out to be one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever eaten (and I don’t use that word lightly, it disturbs me). It’s made with sour cream which has a tenderising effect resulting in a beautifully soft crumbed cake. The icing was also delicious and packed a great coffee punch. This cake will stay moist and delicious for days if you manage to keep your hungry mitts away from it for that long.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
125g (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
250g (9oz/1 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
90g (3 1/4 oz/3/4 cup) plain flour
60g (2 1/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) self raising flour
90g (3 1/4 oz/ 1/3 cup) sour cream

*Preheat oven to 160°C (315°F/ Gas 2-3). Lightly grease a shallow 28x18cm (11 1/4×7 inch) square cake tin and line with baking paper.
*Cream the butter and caster sugar in a small bowl using electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the egg gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. Dissolve the vanilla and coffee granules in 1 tablespoon of warm water and beat into the mixture until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
*Using a large metal spoon, fold in the sifted flours alternately with the sour cream. Stir until just combined and almost smooth.
*Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Coffee Icing.
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
250g (9oz/2cups) icing sugar
40g (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted.

*Dissolve the coffee granules in 1-2 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Add the icing sugar and butter, mixing until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake.

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