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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Mini Coffee Sheet Cake

A intensely rich chocolate coffee sheet cake with the most incredible coffee Swiss meringue buttercream.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!
It’s my sisters birthday today, so that only means one thing when it comes to cake- COFFEE!
We are the BIGGEST coffee lovers! This cake is both of our favourite flavours. 
Chocolate and coffee pair beautifully together, making for a really decadent dessert.


This cake has a chocolate sponge, with addition of a coffee concentrate (a very strong blend of coffee granules mixed with water) which gives a delicious flavour the cakes and bakes.  The buttercream is a coffee Swiss meringue. It's like eating coffee cream or as my sister said, 'a creamy coffee cloud'.


Why you MUST make this cake:
  • The sponge is light and fluffy
  • It's small enough for a couple of servings
  • It's loaded with chocolate (what could be better?)
  • The Swiss meringue is rich and silky
  • Ideal for an intimate birthday cake
  • It's easy to make
  • Bursting with coffee flavour
  • You can make it decaf if you prefer
  • It's creamy and decadent 



Notes*
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc.

What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block.

Where can I buy vegan sprinkles?
My favourite sprinkles are from Fancy Sprinkles. They have one of the best ranges of vegan friendly sprinkles. I used their 'White Caviar' which are small white round sprinkles. 
Get the sprinkles I use- Use code LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your whole order on Fancy Sprinkles.
Check out their vegan sprinkle range here


Preparation: 5 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-4
Level: Easy

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Ingredients for the cake
  • 200ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons of coffee granules + 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 200g of self raising flour
  • 40g of cocoa powder
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 50ml of sunflower oil

Ingredients for the buttercream
  • 2 tablespoons of coffee granules + 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 120g of dairy-free block butter (see notes*)
  • 150g of icing sugar
  • 20ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
+
  • White caviar sprinkles (see notes*)
  • Coffee beans (optional)
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Method (cake)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line a 8x8 inch square cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.
Mix the coffee granules and hot water in a bowl. This makes a coffee concentrate. 

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil and coffee concentrate into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

6. Pour the batter into the lined tin. Use a cranked pallet knife to smooth out the batter, making sure to get it into the corners of the tin.
Make sure to tap the tin on the worktop one or two times to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 20 minutes.
You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it's springy to the touch.

8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It's a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (buttercream)
1. Mix the coffee granules and hot water in a small bowl and mix until combined. This creates a coffee concentrate, which will flavour the buttercream. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

3. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

4. Pour in the aquafaba and coffee concentrate. Whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it's thick and creamy.
The buttercream should be very light and airy. Add more chunks more butter to get it to the right consistency. 

5. Dollop the buttercream on the sheet cake and use a cranked pallet knife / off set spatula to swirl it around.

Why not decorate the cake with some whole coffee beans and vegan sprinkles?!
Go all out and serve it with some vegan caramel sauce.


To store:
Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving.
Best eaten within a few days!




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