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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