The Cake Slice February 2011: Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Cake (GF)
This months Cake Slice cake turned out to be a bit of a hidden gem of the cake world. It’s not much to look at, and reading the recipe I was left feeling a little underwhelmed by its description. However, as with lots of things in life, don’t judge too harshly by first impressions. Despite in rather plain and simple appearance this cake is layered with flavours of toffee, coffee and butterscotch.
The cake comprises of a light sponge, studded with tiny grains of instant coffee, which add little bitter coffee hits whenever you happen across one. I’ve never thought of adding coffee to a cake this way before, but I loved the contrast it added against the sweet brown sugar cake. Just before baking, the top of the cake is scattered with a light streusel mixture made from crumbled Heath Bars which gives the cake a little crunch and a fabulous butterscotch flavour.
Heath Bars are an American candy/chocolate bar of a thin layer of brittle toffee surrounded by a thin coating of chocolate. Very similar to Dime bars here in the UK. I didn’t have access to Heath Bars, but I did have a bag of Heath Chips (toffee pieces) sent to me from America by the lovely Monica. I used those and loved the toffee butterscotch flavour they imparted.
I baked my cake for 15 minutes less than the recipe suggested after other bakers had commented that their cakes were cooked much before the time given. The resulting cake was light, soft and tender with a very fine crumb. It did crumble a little, but I suspect this was mainly due to my use of gluten free flours than the cake itself. It tasted delicious when served with a few raspberries.
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Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Cake (GF)
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
For the Cake
180g plain flour (I used 100g buckwheat & 80g brown rice flour)
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1½ tsp baking powder (I used 2tsp)
½ tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, softened
220g light soft brown sugar (I only used 170g)
1 egg yolk
1½ tsp vanilla extract
(1tsp xanthan gum if making gluten free)
For the Streusel
50g chopped Heath bars or brittle toffee/butterscotch
2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour (or rice flour)
15g butter, softened
Method – Streusel
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9inch round springform pan.
Combine the Heath bars, brown sugar, flour and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your fingers until it resembles large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Method – Cake
Combine the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture and then half the milk, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Repeat, alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a spatula. Scatter the streusel onto the batter, distributing it evenly over the cake.
Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes (Mine was done in 40minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom to onto a wire rack. Cool completely, cut into wedges and serve.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes one 9 inch round cake