Coffee is More Than Just a Drink

Rarely can I function without 2 mugs of coffee, first thing in the morning. If I could be on intravenous coffee drip throughout the day without inconvenience, I would. Though I have to say, the addiction is more related to the smell than the brew self. I like the smell so much that I have been wearing it as a perfume for the past two decades (Vanille & Cafe, Parfum du voyage).

Sometime ago, I read a novel which was set against the background of the arrival of coffee on the Dutch stock exchange. A scene stuck in my mind : the hero's wife chewed the beans raw,  not knowing what to do with them. Of course nowadays, coffee is a social binder and as I appreciated lately a superb ingredient. A little gem of an ingredient which proved very handy last week when my mum came to stay.

This mother of mine, doesn't cook and mainly doesn't eat much, to keep her figure to a size 6. Present her with the best dishes and she will pick at them, make funny mimic and invariably mention the fat content. Strangely enough she loves cakes, actually I suspect her to live on biscuits and cakes of all sorts.

Therefore for her arrival I  made a tarte au chocolat and a coffee cake. Three days later with very little help, all were gone but for a small slice which I managed to rescue to photograph.

Coffee Cake with Coffee Liqueur Icing
as seen in Decadence by P. Johnson
180g self raising flour
3 Tbs ground espresso coffee or 2 Tbs instant coffee
170g soft unsalted butter
180g sugar
 3 eggs, beaten
dash of vanilla essence
Coffee Liqueur Icing
250g icing sugar
1 Tbs Kahlua or coffee liquor
90g of cream cheese
1tsp of coffee liqueur
1tsp of natural vanilla extract
Grease and flour a 22 cm round  mould. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Sift the flour, baking powder and coffee into a mixing bowl. Add the soft butter and the sugar and beat until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Mix the beaten egg with  vanilla and add to the dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and white.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 - 45 minutes.
Once cake has cooked, allow to cool and, cover with  icing
Coffee Liqueur Icing
Sift icing sugar into medium bowl, stir in combined coffee liqueur, vanilla, and the cream cheese; stir until smooth.

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