Recipes | Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake


Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake

The cover recipe from pastry chef Claire Clark's gorgeous new book 80 Cakes from around the World, photographed by the equally talented Jean Cazals.

Claire writes: When the Turkish army retreated in haste after the Battle of Vienna in 1683, they left behind bags of coffee, or so the story goes. Perhaps it was the bountiful supply of coffee that led to Vienna’s famous café culture.

Many a fine cake has come out of Vienna and this coffee cake is a prime example of how good a sponge cake can be. It is really simple to make but the results are stunning. I was reminded of this when I went for dinner at my neighbour’s house. Kath baked this cake for dessert and filled it with fresh raspberries. Use whatever fruits are in season.

Editor's note: there are a couple of ingredients - the freeze-dried raspberries and candied rose fragments you'll probably need to buy in advance or online (see below) You will also need a 20cm bundt ring tin

185g unsalted butter, at room temperature

185g caster sugar

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten

185g self-raising flour, sifted

a pinch of salt

To finish

125g hot, strong black coffee

15g caster sugar

1 tablespoon rum

300ml whipping cream

25g icing sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate

1 tube (2g) freeze-dried raspberries (Waitrose sells them)

5 fresh black figs

5g candied rose fragments (sold here)

Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease and flour a 20cm bundt ring tin. Using an electric mixer*, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, creaming well after each addition. Fold in the flour and salt with a large metal spoon.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes, until it is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed with your finger. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool.

Sweeten the hot coffee with the sugar and stir in the rum. Return the cooled cake to the bundt tin and slowly pour the coffee over it. Invert immediately on to a serving plate and leave to cool once more.

Put the cream in a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla and whip to medium peaks. Spread most of it over the cake, using a palette knife; it does not have to look perfectly smooth. Spoon or pipe the remaining cream into the centre of the cake and level with a spatula. Grind half the freeze-dried raspberries to a powder in a pestle and mortar or with a spice grinder. Using a tea strainer, dust the powder over the cream. Sprinkle with the remaining raspberry pieces. Cut the figs into quarters and arrange them in a circular fashion on top of the cake. Sprinkle with the candied rose fragments.

What to drink: You could pair an Austrian sweet wine with this such as an Ausbruch or a sweet gewurztraminer but I'd probably drink more black coffee

Extracted from 80 cakes from around the world by Claire Clark, published by Absolute Press at £20. Photo © Jean Cazals.

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