Latte Cake – a mild coffee cake topped with Salted Caramel
I make a lot of coffee cakes – everyone in my household loves coffee cake – but this Latte Cake with Salted Caramel drizzle is a bit different. It has a slightly milder coffee flavour and the salted caramel of the drizzle cuts through the sweetness of the icing.
The inspiration, and main taste consultant, for this cake is my daughter. Whenever we go for coffee, she always chooses a Salted Caramel Latte, hot in winter and iced in summer. She suggested that the flavours that she likes in her drink would also be good in a cake. And this cake shows she was right!
As with many of my cakes, this is a very straightforward, basic loaf cake recipe which has allowed me to play with the flavours. The cake is a mild coffee flavour, topped with coffee buttercream. The thing that makes it particularly good is the salted caramel drizzle that goes on top. This gives a real punch of sweet and saltiness which lifts the whole cake. One of the things that I love about cooking is the way very simple additions or twists to a recipe can transform it into something much, much better.
Home-made Salted Caramel
If you have never tried making your own Salted Caramel, I would really encourage you to give it a go. It is really quick and easy and is so much more delicious – sweet, creamy, buttery – than any shop-bought, pre-made versions. It is clearly not the healthiest recipe but I firmly believe that everyone needs a treat every now and then and a little goes a long way. As well as using it as a cake drizzle, Salted Caramel is great as a sauce with ice-cream or spread over the top of a cheesecake.
This easy Latte Cake has a mild coffee flavour and is topped with a salted caramel drizzle. Inspired by Salted Caramel Lattes in coffee shops everywhere!
For the cake:
75 ml milk or cream
3 teaspoons instant coffee
175 g butter
175 g light brown muscavado sugar
175 g self-raising flour
For the icing
125 g butter
125 g icing sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons hot water
For the caramel:
125 g butter
250 g light brown muscavado sugar
125 g double cream
Salt to taste
Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
Warm the milk or cream to scalding point. This is when you gently heat it and then stop heating just before it boils. Add the 3 teaspoons of instant coffee and stir to combine. Allow to cool slightly while you get on with the rest of the cake.
Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
Finally, add the milk or cream and coffee mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven.
Leave the cake in the tin on a cooling rack to cool completely before removing.
While the cake is cooking, make the icing by mixing creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Mix the 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with 2 teaspoons of hot water and then add to the icing mixture. Stir to combine. When the cake is cool, spread the icing over the top.
While the cake is cooking, make the salted caramel by melting the butter in a small pan and then adding the muscavado sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add the double cream and continue to heat for another two or three minutes. Remove from the heat and add salt to taste. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over the icing.
If you are looking for easy, nutritious comfort food which can be whipped up quickly for breakfast, lunch or supper, then look no further than these Baked Eggs with Cheese. I think that this recipe is a brilliant example of the miraculous transformation that you can achieve by cooking familiar ingredients in a slightly different way. Somehow, oven-baking makes two eggs and a bit of cheese into a sustaining and filling dish which is also a bit of a treat. It is absolutely what I want to eat on a lazy weekend morning, particularly after a late night, or when I get home exhausted after a day at work.
Baked Eggs with Cheese is also one of those versatile, flexible dishes which it is always handy to know. They are a vegetarian but fall into the “vegetarian-by-stealth” category in that that non-vegetarians do not seem to notice the lack of meat. Also, you can make as many portions as you need according to how many people you need to feed. So you can have a meal-for-one or a meal for ten (or more!) according to your requirements.
It is also a recipe that is perfect for adaptation according to your particular taste preferences and available ingredients. I love recipes like this as I enjoy experimenting with different flavour combinations. The basic recipe uses eggs, cheese and herbs. In this version, I use cheddar and chives but there are so many other cheese and herb combinations that you could try. Other good combinations are: mozarella and basil, goat’s cheese and dill, ricotta and thyme, blue cheese and chervil.
Easy and versatile. Quick and sustaining. Herby Baked Eggs with Cheese is a go-to recipe for a luxurious breakfast or an after-work supper.
For each serving:
A little melted butter or oil
25 g of hard cheese such as mature cheddar
A small bunch of chives
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of double cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
For each serving you will need a small ramekin or oven-proof bowl.
Set your oven to 200 C or Gas Mark 6.
Lightly grease the inside of each of your ramekin with melted butter or oil.
Grate the cheese and put it in the bottom of the ramekin.
Chop the chives and scatter half of them over the cheese.
Break the eggs into the ramekin.
Spoon the double cream over the eggs. Using the cream makes the dish taste richer but you can leave it out if you want a lighter and healthier meal.
Season with salt and pepper.
Put the ramekin on a baking tray and put in the oven. Bake until the whites are set. Baking times will vary according to your oven and how you like your eggs. It is a good idea to check every now and then the first time that you cook them. In my oven, it takes 12 minutes for runny yolks, 15 minutes for soft cooked yolks and 20 for hard yolks.
Remove the ramekin from the oven. Scatter the rest of the chopped chives over the top.
Serve immediately with some crusty bread if you want to make it a bit more substantial.
You can make this recipe with different cheese and herb combinations. I also like mozarella and basil, goat’s cheese and dill, ricotta and thyme, blue cheese and chervil but there are lots of possibilities and it is fun to experiment!
Keywords: eggs, baked eggs, herbs, chives, cheese
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Cherry and Almond Cake – an English teatime classic!
This Cherry and Almond Cake fills me with nostalgia! It is a homemade version of the shop-bought cake that I remember from my childhood and which made a regular appearance at teatime. Even if you don’t have similar memories, there is something particularly traditional about this cake. It is the kind of cake that you would expect to be served on a China plate by your grandmother in front of an open fire with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.
I love the glossy red glace cherries which look beautiful and give the cake nuggets of juicy sweetness. They may be a bit retro but it’s that kind of cake. I try and use the natural dark red glace cherries rather than the bright red dyed ones.
The combination of cherry and almond flavours is a classic. Almond and cherry trees are both members of the Prunus family and have a strong flavour affinity. Other members of the Prunus family include plums, peaches and nectarines and all these fruit combine well with almonds. In fact, almond extract is often made from the stones of these fruit because they have a stronger almond taste than actual almonds!
Easy Chocolate Brownies – a quick way to get your chocolate fix!
Who doesn’t love a Chocolate Brownie? Particularly an Easy Chocolate Brownie which can be made in under an hour? Well, the answer is me, actually! You may have noticed that this is the first chocolate recipe on Tastebotanical. I wouldn’t say that I hate chocolate, or that I never eat it (I ate one of these brownies) but it is fair to say that there are lots of other food flavours that I prefer. I will always go for the Lemon Drizzle Cake or the Banana Bread before the Chocolate Brownie!
However, I accept that I am in a minority, both in the wider world and within my family. At my son’s school, students take it in turns to take in cakes or biscuits to share with the class. It was his turn to provide the goodies for Physics and he made it clear that there was no other option except Chocolate Brownies. It was non-negotiable.
So, after a long day at work, I came home and, with my teenage sous-chef, set about making Chocolate Brownies. It was probably the last thing I wanted to do but there was no other option as the Brownies were needed the next day. And after I had got over my initial grumpiness……. we had a fantastic time!
Making the Brownies was really quick and easy – particularly with the two of us working in parallel – and I had forgotten how much fun it is to cook with my children. I did this a lot when they were younger but, now that they are all teenagers, it doesn’t happen so much! The Brownies were a big hit at school and (obviously) I made double the quantity so we had some to eat as a family. Even I have to admit they were good – rich and chocolatey with just the right amount of gooey softness. Maybe I will pass up on the Lemon Drizzle Cake next time?
Rich and gooey Brownies are a great way to get your chocolate fix.
375 g salted butter
375 g dark chocolate (plus 50 g for decoration)
500 g golden caster sugar
225 g plain flour
Line a 30 cm x 20 cm brownie pan with foil.
Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a heavy-based pan over a very low heat. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on the mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. When melted, remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl containing the eggs and sugar.
Then stir in the flour and combine. You will need to do a bit of efficient stirring at this point to make sure that there are no pockets of flour that have not been incorporated in the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the brownie pan.
Put the pan in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. It is worth checking after 20 minutes to make sure that the brownies don’t get over-cooked. They will be done when the surface is dry and glossy but the inside is still gooey.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool. Roughly chop the reserved 50 g of chocolate and sprinkle over the top of the brownie mixture. The heat from the mixture will melt the chocolate and then it will harden as the brownie cools.
Allow the brownie mixture to cool completely before removing it from the pan and cutting into squares.