I KNOW...I KNOW. I have been missing in action for a while now. I am aware that many of you have already been wondering what has become of me. Well, I'm still here! Just way too busy to stop or even pause to post something new! I have a little time to kill at the moment (while waiting to pick up my daughter from work so late at night) so I thought of doing some updating. Not that much time to write something entirely new BUT the good news is, I actually have a completed post that has been sitting in my drafts folder for months now! I don't really remember why I never got around to publishing it. So better now when I have the chance, correct?
It's another cake hack!
|Image credit: Red Ribbon Bakeshop website|
That's Red Ribbon Bakeshop's coffee crunch cake (of course, you knew that already). Here's the copycat I made for my husband's birthday last November.
Now here's how to make it. (Sorry for being so direct. Told you, I didn't have that much time on my hands.) Anyway, enjoy!
COFFEE CRUNCH CAKE (makes one 8" cake)
This cake has four components: the vanilla chiffon, the whipped cream frosting, the caramel sauce, and the coffee crunch. Don't be intimidated! Save for the frosting, the three other elements can be made ahead so that's less stress!
Make days head:
1. 8" vanilla chiffon cake - recipe here. Freeze then thaw about an hour before you plan to frost it.
2. The COFFEE CRUNCH:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup strong black/brewed coffee
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted
Line a baking tray with baking paper or silpat.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, coffee, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan. Cook over medium heat to just below the hard-crack stage (310 deg F or 155 deg C).
Remove from heat. Sprinkle the baking soda evenly over coffee sugar syrup. Whisk just until combined.
Pour immediately onto the prepared baking sheet. Do not spread. Let stand until cool and hard, about 30 minutes.
Break into approximately 1/2" pieces. Keep in an airtight container until ready to use.
3. The CARAMEL SAUCE:
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons thickened cream (or heavy whipping cream)
pinch of salt
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and over medium heat, melt the sugar until it is golden amber in colour. You can move the pan from side to side to ensure even melting but do not stir the sugar.
Slowly pour the cream down the side of the pan. The mixture will bubble up and splatter. Mix with a spoon until smooth. Add in the salt.
Transfer the caramel sauce to a container. Let cool completely, cover, then refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.
To assemble this cake:
1. Make a batch of stable whipped cream frosting (recipe here).
2. Cut your cake horizontally in half then place top layer, cut side up on your cake board.
Fill a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip with some whipped cream frosting then pipe a dam around the cake edge. Spread some whipped cream on the space inside the dam.
3. Fill the cake center generously with coffee crunch pieces.
4. Cover the center with more whipped cream.
5. Top with the remaining cake half, cut side down. Frost the entire cake then run a cake comb around the cake side.
6. With the same bag and star tip you used for making the dam in step 2, pipe large stars around the cake top, about 1/2" in from the edge.
7. Put some runny, room temperature caramel sauce in a small piping bag. (If your caramel sauce has thickened too much from refrigeration, take a small amount and microwave it for just a few seconds to make it more liquid BUT not hot.) Cut a small bit off the tip of your piping bag then drizzle all around the cake edge.
8. Fill another small piping bag with thick caramel sauce. Snip a little bit off the end again then pipe spirals on top of each star on the cake top.
8. Just before serving, fill the cake center with lots of coffee crunch. (Once the coffee crunch is exposed to air and moisture, it will shrink and melt and become a sticky mess so DO NOT place it on the cake until you are ready to serve.)