I’ve been thinking about layer cakes a lot recently, with billowing clouds of fresh cream sandwiched between layers of sponge positively dripping with caramel sauce a particular favourite.
But then I came across multi-coloured layer cakes which presented a new, even better focus. I researched rainbow cakes, Neapolitan cakes, pink blush offerings that were all so very beautiful, but all owed their towering beauty to quite a lot of food colouring.
This got me thinking about natural colours and the idea for a choc, coffee, vanilla creation came into focus. But on investigating further, I soon realised that most recipes call upon three different cakes to be made.
Now the thought of spending a beautiful sunny Sunday whisking and beating and baking three separate cakes really did seem like far too much of a hassle and so a far more simplified version which required only one batter split into three was created.
Not on is it then easy to prepare but the layers bake in just ten minutes and bake flat so there is no cake dome to cut and flatten.
Nice and easy, job done and the results…not too shabby.
150g (3 large) eggs
200g self-raising flour
30g instant coffee
200g icing sugar
90ml milk heated and mixed with 15g instant coffee then cooled
130g dark cooking chocolate melted and cooled
Firstly prep three 20cm round pans by lining with baking paper – it will make the method a lot easier later on.
1, Start by whisking the butter, vanilla and sugar together until pale and fluffy then add in the eggs and mix well.
2, Next sift in the flour then divide the mix into three equal portions, (if following the recipe that will be about 200g each).
3, Heat the cream then divide it also into three – mix the instant coffee into one, the cocoa into the next and leave the third plain.
4, Mix one amount of liquid into each batter portion and mix. This will give you a chocolate batter, one of coffee and one of vanilla.
5, Spoon into the pans and spread across the base (it will be pretty thin).
6, Bake all three at 160°C fan forced for just 10 minutes then let cool.
7, Meanwhile, make the icing by beating the butter and sugar together until white.
8, Slowly add in the milk and beat well between each addition.
9, Start layering the cake together by placing the chocolate layer on the bottom, then spreading over a little of the icing before adding the coffee layer. Ice again then top with the vanilla cake.
10, Next, mix the cooled chocolate through the remainder of the icing and spread around the sides and top of the cake to finish.
This wonderfully moist cake would technically keep for a few days but I’m not really sure as it didn’t last 24 hours in our house. The only alteration I’d make for next time would be to perhaps use a swiss meringue icing instead, as with all the extra icing between the layers it did end up a little sweet for our taste (eg. you couldn’t comfortably eat two large slices in a row).