Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise
Posted by hsimpsongrossman on February 1, 2015
The odds were against this cake from the start.
We came back from a ski vacations in Italy on Monday, I’m leaving to Lapland later this week, and all that is taking place smack in the middle of my exams. I should have stayed far away from the kitchen, let alone bake a cake, which requires preparing homemade toffee ahead of time.
The problem was that Stubborn Mule and I have had our eyes set on this cake from the moment Baked Occasions made its debut in our house. The picture of that brown caramel-chocolate tunnel making its way through a golden rich coffee cake, however, left me no other choice but to sacrifice some learning time for the sake of a greater good.
Well, this was one of the most expensive cakes I have ever made. It cost me my good, old, loyal candy thermometer! Mind you, it served me right, thinking I could balance it, immersed in lava-hot bubbling caramel, between a wooden spoon and the side of the pot, rather than use the clip made for that purpose. It remained balanced for about two seconds and then plopped dramatically into the boiling mass. Following a few failed attempts to save it, involving getting a burn and spattering all over the stove, I managed to fish the distorted device out of the caldron.
All that commotion got me off balance. Too long had passed before I poured the caramel into the baking pan, which meant it wasn’t boiling hot anymore when I spread the chocolate on it. The result was an unevenly melted chocolate layer. To prevent further disaster, I stuck the pan in the freezer and, wanting nothing more to do with it that day, left it there for two days, rather than the suggested 30 minutes.
On Friday morning, ready to resume my relationship with this Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise, I took the pan out of the freezer and chopped the candy. I am not sure whether it was due to the break between spreading the caramel and laying the chocolate or due to the long time spent in the freezer, but the chocolate layer tended to separate from the caramel layer. Now was a good time as ever to test my mother’s theory that broken food tastes the same (and gets fixed) in the tummy. I reserved the nicer toffee bits in a box and chopped the broken ones even further, for the cake.
I tweaked the original recipe just a bit.
Firstly, I prefer not to use corn syrup and thus substituted the amount required for the caramel with three tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon mild molasses.
Additionally, I decreased the amount of sugar in the batter to ¾ of a cup granulated sugar and ½ a cup brown sugar and, having a substantial stash of egg whites in my freezer and not wanting to throw out the leftover egg whites, I used two whole eggs rather than an egg a two egg yolks. I didn’t have enough sour cream, so I used whole fat yogurt to supplement for about half the amount required.
I got carried away with the amount of toffee I used, as it was difficult to prevent the filling from touching the edges of the baking pan. Considering my kids knew what’s hiding in the cake I wasn’t worried about bits of filling sticking out and ruining the surprise. I was a bit worried the filling might cause the cake to stick to the pan, but by now, all I really wanted was to get it over with.
Thank God, the cake slid out of the pan easily and we counted the minutes till it was (barely) cool enough to slice. Luckily, considering all that heartache and stress it caused me, we weren’t disappointed. This Toffee coffee cake provides a nice variation on the well-loved cinnamon-cocoa- nut kind, with the chunks of almonds providing a second dimension of crunch and the salt flakes leaving a touch and go piquant sensation.
Half a cake disappeared in no time, and the other half was saved by the skin of its teeth, after been left alone with His Royal Highness for a few minutes.
For those of you who do have access to Heath Bars, it should really be a piece of cake to make. Whether you make your own toffee or opt for the store bought candy bar, you can find the recipe for this Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise from Baked Occasions, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito on Baked Sunday Mornings.
Happy baking and a great new week!
Filed under Cakes