Friday, November 10, 2023

VEGAN COFFEE CREAM LAYER CAKE

My love for coffee is a well-known fact. And even though I am not a fan of flavoured coffees, I absolutely adore coffee desserts. This cake being a prime, wonderfully delicious, example.
I truly love this type of cakes, as they have a moderate number of servings, making them perfect for smaller gatherings and friendly brunches. Even with the simplest of decoration, they still manage to capture hearts, especially served in generous slices.
This filling is one of my favourites and it works amazingly well with chocolate, nuts, and fruit. However, there is something so delightful in the combination of the subtle coffee flavour and the creaminess of it. Something that just keeps inviting for more.
Four wonderfully soft cake layers, three layers of coffee filling, and three glorious layers of pillowy whipped plant-based cream. Such a delight to enjoy, especially after being allowed to come to room temperature before serving.
And on a final note, you can increase the amount of coffee in the filling, if you want, or even add a shot of coffee liqueur if not serving the cake to children.


Ingredients
For the coffee cake layers
200 grams plain flour
50 grams semolina
100 grams granulated sugar
100 grams light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
240 millilitres hot water
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
For the coffee cream filling
500 millilitres soy milk, cold
50 grams cornflour
50 grams plain flour
100 grams granulated sugar
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
150 grams vegan block butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
200 millilitres plant-based double cream, chilled

Preparation
Start by making the coffee cream filling. Pour the cold soy milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sift in the flour and the cornflour, mix well, and then add in the sugar and espresso powder, and mix well again. Place the pot over medium-high heat, and let it slowly heat up. As soon as it starts to steam, start whisking somewhat vigorously. Let it come to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, until it thickens and becomes glossy. Cover the top with cling film or a piece of baking parchment, and let it cool down to room temperature.
To make the coffee cake layers, start by dissolving the espresso powder in hot water, pouring it into a large bowl, and setting it aside to cool down as much as possible. Turn on the oven to 180°C, so it can preheat. Next, take another large bowl and sift in the plain flour and the baking powder. Whisk them together, and then mix in the semolina and the sugars. Add the vanilla to the cooled coffee and mix it well. Set it aside for a bit more, and prepare for the baking by lining the bottom and sides of a rectangular baking pan (20x30 cm) with baking parchment.
Just before baking, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and quickly whisk until blended. As soon as the batter is ready, pour it into the prepared pan, tap it a few times on the counter, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 10-12 minutes, checking for doneness early on. Every oven bakes differently, and the cake should remain as soft and moist as possible. As soon as a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, it is done. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down in the pan completely.
Once the coffee cream filling is cool and ready, whip the plant-based cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form, and set it aside. Place the softened vegan block butter and the vanilla into a large bowl and beat it with an electric mixer on high, for about 5 minutes, so it becomes light and airy. With the same beaters, mix the cooled filling until thick and creamy. Without stopping the beaters, add a tablespoon of the custard at a time to the whipped butter, and blend them together until smooth.
Once the filling is whipped and ready, proceed to assemble the cake. Level the cake, if necessary, and slice it in half crosswise and lengthwise, to create four thin rectangular layers. Take out a few tablespoons of the filling for decoration, and divide the rest into three equal parts by weight. Divide the whipped cream into three parts by volume.
The assembly is pretty straightforward; take one of the cake layers and place it on a cake platter. Add a third of the filling on top, followed by a third of the whipped cream. Repeat this until all of the filling and cream is used up, and then top with the final cake layer. The cake is pretty firm, so use the reserved filling to frost and decorate the top and the sides, and place the cake into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Yields 12 rich servings.

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