Sweet espresso
The Australian Women's Weekly Food|Issue 65 2020
Sweet espresso
Italians are known for their great coffee, and where better to showcase it than in these luscious cakes.
“This sensational-looking cake is surprisingly easy to make. I find using a long, serrated knife, such as a bread knife, the easiest way to split the cakes for layering.” Lucy Kelly, Food Editor, AWW FOOD

DATE, HAZELNUT & COFFEE CAKE

PREP + COOK TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES SERVES 10

11/2 cup (260g) self−raising flour

1 cup (100g) hazelnut meal

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt 250g butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12/3 cups (370g) firmly packed brown sugar

3 eggs

¼ cup (60ml) milk

1 cup (250ml) freshly brewed strong black coffee

MARSALA DATES

2/3 cup (160ml) marsala

¼ cup (55g) caster sugar

12 fresh dates (240g), halved lengthways, pitted

RICOTTA FILLING

2¼ cups (540g) firm ricotta

1 cup (250g) mascarpone cheese

½ cup (110g) caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease two deep 20cm round cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper.

2 Sift flour, hazelnut meal, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl. Beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Fold in combined sifted flour mixture, milk and coffee, in two batches (the mixture may look split at this stage). Spoon mixture between pans and smooth tops.

3 Bake cakes for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning, top−side up, onto wire racks to cool.

4 Meanwhile, make marsala dates, then ricotta filling.

5 Split cakes in half horizontally. Place base of one cake onto a cake plate or stand. Drizzle with a little syrup from marsala dates, then top with one−third of the ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with remaining cake, syrup and ricotta mixture, finishing with a cake layer. Top cake with marsala dates and drizzle with remaining syrup.

MARSALA DATES

Stir marsala and sugar in a small heavy−based saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, add dates and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until dates are just starting to soften. Remove from heat. Cool dates in syrup.

RICOTTA FILLING

Process ingredients until just smooth and combined.

LINING A ROUND CAKE PAN

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Issue 65 2020