Friday 15 June 2012

Coffee Swirl Cake with Choc Chips

I had three egg whites sitting in the fridge needed to find a purpose and hit that old problem – what can I make with them? The things that instantly spring to mind are pavlova and macarons, but not being a meringue fan these didn’t appeal. A quick sort through my recipe archives and I discovered the perfect recipe – a buttermilk loaf cake made using 3 egg whites – perfect!

Rather than stick with a vanilla cake, I decided to incorporate a little coffee and turn it into a vanilla coffee swirl cake. As I didn’t intend to frost the cake I also scattered in some dark chocolate chips and pecans, plus a little extra sprinkled on top. I love this combination in a cake, the chocolate turns all soft and melty and the nuts become nicely toasted.

During baking, the top of the cake forms a dark, slightly chewy crust, while the middle stays soft and tender. At first I was a little worried I had over baked it, but the cake inside was fine and I loved the contrast between the toasted chewy top and the moist crumb within. The crumb texture is quite close, probably due to the eggs whites and buttermilk, but the cake is not heavy or dense, and in fact it’s all too easy to eat.

I loved how each slice was slightly different, depending where in the vanilla-coffee swirl it was cut. The chocolate chips and pecans added little hits of texture and flavour when you happened to bite into one and worked well with the coffee. A great way to use up leftover egg whites!

This cake is also my entry to this months We Should Cocoa. A chocolate challenge event created by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot. Each month they challenge bakers to get create with chocolate plus a mystery ingredient, which this month is…Coffee!  This month’s challenge is being hosted by Lucy of The Kitchen Maid. I’ve been meaning to participate in this event for months, so now I’ve finally done it! Click here for more info on how to take part.

Coffee Swirl Cake with Choc Chips
100g butter
200g caster sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g buckwheat flour*
60g brown rice flour*
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
220ml buttermilk
2½ tsp instant coffee granules
4 tsp hot milk

Topping & Centre Sprinkles
50g chopped nuts – I used pecans
70g dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 9x5 inch loaf tin.
Mix all the sprinkle ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Dissolve the coffee in the hot milk and set aside.
Start by whisking the egg whites until they becoming opaque and fluffy, but don’t yet hold a peak.
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg white and vanilla and mix gently.
Sift over half the flours and the xanthan gum and fold in gently, followed by buttermilk and then the remaining flour along with the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
Pour half of the batter into the loaf tin and scatter over half the sprinkle mix.
Add the coffee mixture to the remaining batter and mix briefly to combine. Spread the coffee batter into the tin and top with the rest of the sprinkle mix.
Use a tablespoon to delve down to the bottom of the tin and make one folding motion, so that some of the vanilla batter from the base of the tin comes to the surface and swirls with the coffee batter. Do this once more at the other end of the tin. Do not over mix.
Place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 50-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely before slicing to reveal the swirls of vanilla and coffee cake.
Eat and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container or freeze in slices on day of baking

* Note: This cake also works with 240g of ‘normal’ wheat flour or a combination of your own GF flour mix without any problems


Choclette said...

Oh well done Katie. You've created an amazing sounding cake (if only I liked coffee) AND you've joined in with We Should Cocoa - hooray and thank you. I really like these kind of cakes, every bite is different.

Paloma said...

Looks really great and looks moist too! :)

I must confess I thought about you yesterday at the store when I saw Gluten Free flour... and I thought about buying it and giving it a try but it's way more expensive than regular... and then I would be even more disappointed if it wasn't even good... is there a specific brand you buy? (I wonder if they'd have it here)

Love your blog!

Katie said...

Hi Paloma,
Aww thats sweet of you to think of me.

The brand I like best for general baking is Doves Farm. They make buckwheat flour, rice flour and then a mix of white plain and self raising flours that are GF. They also make lots of 'normal' wheat flour too.

Unknown said...

Thilooks marvelous. I haven't had any kind of swirl cake in a long time :)

By the way, how do you store egg whites/yolks. I never know what to do with them if a recipe calls for one or the other so I just put them down the drain. :/

Caroline said...

It looks beautifully moist and dense (in a good way!). I do so wish I liked coffee - it always smells so delicious! I like your idea of putting chopped chocolate and nuts on the top.

Katie said...

Hi Becca,

I store egg whites in a mug that I cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge. Egg yolks I store in a little dish and cover with 1stp water or oil and then cover in clingfilm. You need to add a little liquid to egg yolks or else they dry out. Keep in the fridge too. Hope this helps

The Caked Crusader said...

It's funny how necessity often produces the best baking results - great way to use your egg whites!

Anonymous said...

Great looking cake - love the topping, and ideal for egg whites. I discovered about a year ago that you can freeze egg whites. It's brilliant! Just put them in a little pot with a lid, then when frozen you can turn it out, wrap in cling film and stash with other ones in a freezer bag. They keep for ages and I honestly can't tell the difference. Just leave in a bowl for an hour or do to defrost. Hope this tip is useful! Lovely blog.