In London we were teased with two weeks of spring: the crocuses, daffodils and magnolias started blooming and I was brought back to when I lived in Spain and sun was a guarantee.
And then, suddenly, London came back to its senses.
This is a cake to warm you back up and enjoy inside as the rain patters at your windows.
This cake is rich and dense, like a pound cake. Blooming the cocoa with coffee instead of water not only intensifies the chocolate flavor, but adds complementary complexity to the chocolate.
Coffee, chocolate and cardamom are a classic combination often found in the cakes and pastries from the Nordics regularly shared for fika. Fika is like a coffee break, usually enjoyed amongst friends, family or colleagues, with something sweet to eat. What is most important for fika is that it is convivial; a shared experience. It is not fika to have coffee and cake by yourself. So, make this cake, brew a pot of coffee, and share with those that matter to you.
150 ml freshly brewed coffee
40g Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
160g Plain flour
75g Creme Fraiche
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Coffee Cardamom Glaze
140g powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons espresso
Preheat the oven and prepare the cake pan:
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and grease and flour a loaf pan.
Bloom the cocoa:
In a small sauce pan, heat the coffee, butter and cocoa powder over low heat until the butter melts. Whisk to combine and set aside to cool slightly while preparing the other ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche and vanilla extract.
Make the batter:
Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Then, fold in the egg mixture until just combined.
Bake the cake:
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cook for 10 – 20 minutes before turning the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before glazing.
Make the glaze:
In a mixing bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and cardamom. Whisk in the espresso. If the glaze is too thick, it may be thinned with a splash of milk.
Pour the glaze over the cake and let it set.