Aaah, afternoon tea. It’s a time-honoured tradition that has sadly been lost in the hectic haze of modern life. During my childhood in Perth, where it was all 80s innocence and 90s glam, the ritual of afternoon tea was firmly ingrained in our daily meanderings. For us neighbourhood kids, it was taking a break for sustenance between general mucking about and trampolining. During my Sydney high school years, I seeked solace in fresh ham and cheese toasties and junk food in the afternoon… anything to delay homework (which I never did anyway). Nowadays, I barely have breakfast or lunch, much less a quick time out for a cuppa. It’s astounding how much things can change in 20-odd years. I’m also weirded out by how nostalgic and sentimental I’m getting as I’m enjoying the last vestiges of my roaring 20s.
But if I was to do tea, then I can’t go past cake. Simple nourishing cake. And this Coffee Crunch Cake is a winner. Being infused with coffee, the smell out of the oven was amazing but even if you weren’t a coffee lover, the flavour isn’t overbearing like say… a tiramisu. It’s also a textural delight – pillowy soft cake with the light crunch of the crumble. It demands a good cup of coffee or tea to accompany it and it simply deserves to be savoured… preferably at about 4pm, the optimal reminiscing hour.
- 60g plain flour
- 40g light brown sugar or demerara
- 40g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 170g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 Tbl (60ml) strong espresso or instant coffee, cooled
- 100g almond meal
- 100g self raising flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (sifted with the self raising flour)
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line a 20cm round baking tin (springform or loose-bottomed).
- To make the crumble, stir the flour and sugar to combine. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and coffee and mix to combine.
- Add the almond meal and fold until incorporated. Do the same with both the flour and baking powder and fold until combined.
- Spoon into prepared cake tin and level the top. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the surface and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean and the crumble is lightly golden.
- Cool in tin for 10 minutes, before removing it from the tin and cooling it on a wire rack.
- Recipe adapted from Cooking With Friends by Gordon Ramsay