Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake

This is another one of those recipes that I've long wanted to try making myself and my dad's birthday was the perfect time to do so. I was surprised at how simple this cake was to make. Although there are a few components to get together, the process is fairly simple. The addition of lemon juice and zest brings some dimension to the cake, but it is unexpected, so if you would rather keep it simple, just substitute with coffee. I thought the combination worked, but some members of my family thought it was a bit strange. Overall though, everyone enjoyed it and compared to coffee crunch cakes I've had, this one is definitely the best. The chiffon cake itself would be great in other layer cakes as well.

Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake
Recipe from Flo Braker via fancyfoodfancy
Makes One 10 inch cake

Cake Layers
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt(halve if using fine salt)
1/4 cup water
6 large egg yolks
1 cup egg whites(about 6-8 large eggs)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice/coffee
1 tsp grated lemon zest(optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the cake flour with the salt and 3/4 cup of sugar, set aside. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with 1/4 cup sugar until pale and thick. Whisk in the water and beat until thickened.

Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on high speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar while whisking until it reaches stiff, glossy peaks. Whisk in vanilla, lemon juice/coffee, and lemon zest if using.

Fold the egg whites and flour mixture into the egg yolks starting with a third of the whites followed by a third of the flour mixture alternating until everything is incorporated. Pour batter into an ungreased noncoated 10 inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Level top and bake for 50-55 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and it springs back when lightly touched. Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Cut around the sides and bottom to remove cake from pan, cut into 2 layers.

Coffee Crunch
1 tbsp baking soda, sifted
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup

In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, mix the coffee, sugar, and corn syrup. Stirring occasionally, heat over medium low heat until sugar dissolves, then increase to medium-high heat and let boil until it reaches 290 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Pour onto a parchment lined or oiled baking sheet, do not spread. Let cool for at least 1 hour. Break into small pieces in a ziploc bag using a rolling pin. Store in an airtight container for assembly later.

Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks. Frost cake with whipped cream, then refrigerate cake. Top cake with coffee crunch when ready to serve.

I made this cake for my mom's birthday per her request. It's made up of genoise from the raspberry cream cake, vanilla custard from the banana cream pie recipe, strawberries, and bananas topped with a whipped cream frosting. While my cake baking skills are improving, my decorating skills still need some work. This was a nice combination, but I put a bit too much fruit in it. Next time, I might try adding some baking powder or cream of tartar to this genoise for an airier cake. It's not traditional and might no longer be considered a true genoise, but to each their own. 

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