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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cake #23: Coffee Spice Cake (Variation)

 In the book, this cake calls for shortening and a mix of spices including ginger, cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg. Sprinkled with sugar on top when done and cooled. But then there is a variation that involves a chocolate frosting topping, so yeah- I chose the variation instead!
The variation eliminates the ginger, and replaces the shortening with butter.
Like the last cake, I doubled the recipe, but the kitchen aid was actually able to hold it all this time (barely). Then I cooked both cakes in the SAME bundt pan, one at a time (one on Saturday and one on Sunday). This way they had about the right amount of batter (and didn't drip all over the oven) and they cooked more evenly. What a difference!
 The cake wasn't too hard to make. The coffee was the hardest part, and in hind sight, if I would have just left some coffee from the morning and let it cool, it would have been easy. But without coffee, I made a strong batch in the french press with very hot water, then put it outside in the cold to cool. Even though it was pretty cold out, After about a half hour, there was still steam coming off the coffee. So I poured it into a glass measuring cup and put it in the freezer. It still took FOREVER to cool enough to use! Actually, I don't know if it took forever because I cheated and took it out when it was cool enough that it didn't burn my finger when I touched it. Because I added an ice cube to it. Which probably made it weaker. Whatever. I was impatient.
 I found a jar of molasses that had a "best buy" date of May 2010 on it. That's pretty close to 7 years ago. My partner argued that it wasn't a "expiration date", it just won't be as good now as it was 7 years ago, when it was at its "best". Anyway, I couldn't get the damn thing open so I used the brand new jar of molasses I just bought.
 The recipe called for "ground cloves" which I couldn't find, but I did find a spice bag with some large looking cloves in it. So I stuck several of those in the coffee grinder and ground them up to make "ground cloves"! Brilliant! Until I smelled the coffee grinder. Whew! It took a lot of washing to get that smell out, and now our coffee grinder is cleaner than it has been since we bought it.

The 1st cake turned out fine, but the remaining batter was refrigerated overnight so it ended up taking maybe 20-30 minutes longer to bake.
This cake has a unique flavor and would be worth making again, but I think I would change the frosting. It was really messy. It was a combination of melted chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and a little coffee. If using this again, wait until it's cooled for a couple of hours before pouring on (it will be thicker), and even then don't make as much as the recipe calls for, it just runs off and pools up and makes a mess of the table after it runs off the edge of the plate/platter.

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