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Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake. Better than that there coffee giant’s latte.

Every year, around this time, I see friends on Facebook and Twitter getting all hyped up because a certain high-street coffee chain brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ve not actually tried one myself, but I’m intrigued by the flavour combination and as I had a tin of pumpkin puree knocking about in the cupboard, so I decided to have a go at creating a cake with the same key ingredients. It didn’t taste like I expected, but I really enjoyed it – it’s lovely and moist with a surprisingly light texture. As this makes two cakes, you could either freeze one (well wrapped in greaseproof paper and then clingfilm) or make up some cream cheese buttercream and sandwich the two cakes together. Or I guess you could make half as much. I only made this much because I used the whole tin of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 425g (1 tin) pureed pumpkin
  • 225g vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 150g yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g light brown soft sugar
  • 450g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

Heat oven to 180C and grease and line two 9″ round cake tins (spring form, if you have them). In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients – pumpkin, oil, yoghurt and eggs – and the sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Add all the dry ingredients and mix to form a pourable batter. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for around 45 minutes; the cakes are done when they’re a rich brown colour, risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool in their tins on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before carefully taking them out of the tin to cool completely. Dust with a little icing sugar, cut a big wedge and serve with your favourite brew.

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Gluten-Free Coffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Coffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free coffee and chocolate chip cookies, chewy and delicious

One of the things I love about baking cookies is that you don’t have to cook them all at once. Keep any left over cookie dough in a zip-lock bag – in the fridge for a couple of days, or in the freezer for a few months. I sometimes make big batches of dough and freeze enough for about 4 or 5 cookies per bag; then if you need a cookie fix or have friends coming over for a cuppa you can take a bag out, bring them back to room temp (it doesn’t take long, maybe an hour or so) and bake a fresh batch of cookies whenever you want! I’ve made these cookies gluten-free, but you could easily use normal plain flour if you’re not eliminating gluten from your diet.

Gluten-Free Coffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • 160g gluten-free plain flour (I used rice flour)
  • half tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 75g milk chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate

Heat the oven to 190C. In a bowl, beat the butter, sugars and espresso powder until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until well mixed. Add to the bowl the flour, bicarb and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well incorporated and there are no patches of dry ingredients. Stir through the chocolate chips.

Use a dessert spoon to place heaped spoonfuls of the mix on an ungreased baking tray. Make sure they’re well spaced as they will spread a lot – you should get about 6 on a tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They’re ready to take out when they’re golden, but still seem a little underdone – as if you’d leave a big dent if you prodded them with a fingertip (my best tip for cookies is to slightly undercook them; they’re a much nicer texture when cooled that way). Leave to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes until they’re set, then use a palette knife to slide them off the tray and leave them to cool completely on a rack.  Make a mug of tea and tuck in!

You could also replace the chocolate chips with a big handful of chopped walnuts for a twist on the classic coffee and walnut cake.