Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Espresso Coffee Cake, and A Way to Help Erika of The Ivory Hut

About 15 years ago my sister gave me a recipe for a coffee cake that was like no other I had ever tasted. It had been given to her by a client that had never written her name on the recipe card. Over time, clients come and go and her name was long forgotten. A unique coffee cake; it tastes exactly like that- coffee. Not the sugary, crumbly type that many of us have become accustomed to. It is a dense, moist, mildly sweet cake, that will make you appreciate the time you took to make it. It's also an opportunity to pull out the Espresso Machine and savor life, while around the table with friends.

Just yesterday I had the opportunity to be spotlighted by Elle on her newsletter Elle's New England Kitchen. Elle is a fabulous food blogger with insanely good food and a fabulous life I envy in New England- Check out her site. It's worth every peek you may sneak!

One of the questions posed to me by Elle was, "What do I find most enjoyable about blogging?" I responded, in part, with, "I've found that food bloggers, especially, have tender, giving hearts and will go to "grass-fire" lengths to help their fellow bloggers in need." Friends, that couldn't be more true than today, when our fellow food and photography blogger, Erika, of The Ivory Hut (also known as @ivoryhut on Twitter), lost her home in it's entirety last night due to fire. The food blogging community and Twitter friends have rallied together in the last 12 hours to put together a website with a paypal link to help Erika and her family in her time of need. While her family was not hurt, her family has lost everything, including her husbands prosthetic leg.

So I ask of you today, friends, family, follower's and first time visitors, to please take a moment to head over to this link to donate anything you can to help Erika and her family. Even if it is only $5, times that by the power of the internet, and you can help soften the blow that this devastating event has caused.

Despite the negativity that some say about the "online world", I'm so thankful, grateful, and blessed, to be a part of an international family of friends that social media has brought me. It's more than food. We're family, through thick and thin.

Espresso Coffee Cake

3 sticks UN-salted butter
1 c sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 c sour cream
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs instant espresso (or instant coffee)
1 Tbs hot water
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 Tbs sour cream

Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. You will see the batter go from a dark yellow to a light, lemony color (a well creamed butter and sugar are critical to a tender cake). Then add vanilla, eggs (one at a time, mixing well after each), and sour cream until well combined and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In thirds, gradually add to butter mixture until well combined.

In a small cup combine the instant espresso (or instant coffee) with hot water.

Divide the batter into 3 separate bowls. In one bowl add the espresso mixture. In another bowl add the cocoa powder and 1 Tbs sour cream.

In a well sprayed non-stick bundt pan place the cocoa mixture evenly at the bottom. Follow with an even layer of the espresso mixture. Lastly, the layer of plain batter.

Bake at 350F for approximately 1 hour (depending on your oven) or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool. Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

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Barbara Bakes said...

I love the different colors in this cake. It looks moist and delicious. So sad about Erika. I guess it sort of puts everything in perspective.

bellini valli said...

This would make a beautiful presentation. The bonus is it is delicious too.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love coffee cakes!

Elle said...

Thanks for the sweet shout out, Janet! And thank *you* for agreeing to be interviewed for my newsletter!

So sad about Erika and her family. Thank God they're all safe, but still, how awful.

On a a lighter note--I must have this coffee cake, or rather--espresso cake!

Maria said...

Lovely cake!
I can't stop thinking about Erika and her family. Great job on getting the word out!

RJ Flamingo said...

This cake looks fabulous, Jed! Love the colors and flavors in this. I'm sure you won't mind if I add it to my repertoire! :-)

I didn't even follow Erika, but her story just breaks my heart. We would all do well to remember that, there, but for the grace of G-d, go I. Clicking on that PayPal link now!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle said...

Lovely post and the cake looks wonderful too. I've only started to follow Erika and others after some good friends were at the Big Summer Potluck in PA a few weeks ago.

I was stunned like the rest of us and do hope that everyone will look at their blessings and wonder what it must be like and give freely, even if that freely is only $5. As you mentioned; a little times a lot of people can help to soften this horrific blow of 'one of our own.'

Now that cake...nothing quite does me in like something with espresso in it .I'm in the middle of making some I want to just continue and make a cake too!

Beautiful job Jed!

Anonymous said...

This looks y!ummy

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Deeba PAB said...

A lady after my heart Ednaaaaaah! What a gorgeous cake & what a wonderful friend you are. That shout out must mean the world to Erika.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Cake looks divine!

Thanks for your blog about Erika.
I also shared in spreading the word. I understand the fundraising is going extremely well!

Carmen of Baking is my Zen

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I read about Erika this morning and I'm so glad that people are reaching out to help her. Love your espresso coffee cake too.

Chef Chuck said...

Hello! O my, this is so moist, yet my mouth is watering!!

Jamie said...

I so agree with you! I have also participated in wonderful gestures created by bloggers or forum members, helping people who've lost their jobs, for example. We are a wonderful community and this is really the first time in my life I have felt so connected to people! Through the magic of food blogging I have found so many generous, caring, smart, funny people and feel privileged to be a part of their lives! And this is a perfect cake! Perfect! Coffee and chocolate is absolutely my fave! Bookmarked!

Chef Chuck said...

Moist and dense, ~So Nice~ I could go for a piece right now!!

Megan said...

I love this cake, the layers are awesome!
I'm sorry to hear that about Erika.Her family is in my prayers.

Maranda said...

Oh this looks SO good! I love me some coffee/espresso. I WILL be making this soon! Thanks for sharing!

Chelsea said...

I don't think I've ever seen a recipe for coffee cake that's just that- coffee flavored cake. Wow, I'll have to try it now!