Guest post from the amazing Clare of the Little Bear Cakery!
At the beginning of the year I was lucky enough to spend four days doing work experience at The Delaunay, Aldwych. Part of Rex Restaurant Associates (owners of the Wolseley), The Delaunay is an all-day cafe-restaurant inspired by the grand cafes of Europe with an emphasis on Austro-Hungarian cakes.
Everything I tried whilst working there was utterly delicious and it is now my go-to place for sweet treats in London. Next weekend I am going to sample the full afternoon tea which I am very much looking forward to.
This coffee and rum cake is inspired by one of the cakes on their afternoon tea menu. They use an Austrian rum called “Stroh” but I have just used a golden rum in my recipe here.
For the macerated sultanas
- 75g sultanas
- 25g rum
For the sponge
- 2 level tsp of instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tblsp boiling water
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 250g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
For the coffee syrup
- 2 level tsp of instant coffee
- 150ml boiling water
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 50 ml rum
For the buttercream
- ½ tsp instant coffee, dissolved in ½ tblsp boiling water
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
For the coffee glaze
- 1 tblsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1½ tblsp boiling water
- 125g icing sugar, sifted
- The night before you make the cake, you will need to soak your sultanas in the rum. I find that an old jam jar works well for this as you can give it a good shake every now and then to make sure that the raisins get a good even soaking.
- The next day, the sultanas should have absorbed the rum. Finely chop them and then put them back in the jar until you are ready to use them.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line the base and sides of an 8″ square tin with baking parchment.
- To make the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the creamed mixture. Reserve the vanilla pod for the coffee syrup.
- With the mixer on a medium speed, gradually add the eggs. Stop the mixer several times to scrape the sides.
- Once all of the eggs are incorporated, sift in the flour and salt and gently fold it into the creamed mixture.
- Finally add the dissolved coffee and chopped macerated sultanas and mix until it is evenly combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread it evenly into the corners and level it in the tin.
- Place the tin in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the cake is well risen, light brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the tin to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup by placing the coffee, boiling water, sugar and vanilla pod (that you scraped earlier) into a small saucepan.
- Over a low heat, bring the syrup to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, place the syrup to one side to cool.
- Once cooled, add the rum.
- To make the buttercream, cream together the butter, icing sugar and dissolved coffee until pale and fluffy.
- Once the sponge has completely cooled, generously trim the domed top off the sponge. Keep the trimmings for nibbling of course!
- Now cut the square in half to leave you with two rectangles.
- Soak the top of each rectangle with the coffee rum syrup.
- Now, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream on the top of one of the rectangles.
- Place the other rectangle of sponge on top so that the syrup soaked side is face down on the buttercream.
- Run your palette knife around the edge of the cake neatening up any stray buttercream. You’re aiming for nice neat square edges.
- Soak the top of the cake with the coffee rum syrup.
- Place the cake in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour.
- Finally, make the glaze by mixing the dissolved coffee with the icing sugar.
- Place the cake on top of a couple of ramekins, one at each end, over a chopping board. This will allow any excess glaze to run off.
- Spread the coffee glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake and leave to set.
- Once the glaze has hardened, trim any excess that may be hanging from the bottom of the cake.
- Place the cake on a board to serve.
Serves approximately 8 thick slices