Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coffee and Crunch

One of the best things about belonging to a group is that it often opens you up to new experiences. Sometimes the experiences provide a groundwork for later experiences, like the Daring Baker Gateau St. Honore. After that I knew how to do puff pastry, cream puffs, spun sugar and pastry cream, both regular and Chibost. Other times it's just for fun. The best ones are when you try something a little bit new and also make something that you know will become a favorite.

This month the Cake Slice Bakers chose to make a delicious moist cake with deep coffee flavor and a streusel for the top that used chopped up Heath Bars...a crisp toffee candy coated in milk chocolate. If you looked at this crunchy topping you would never think candy bar, would you?

Always the iconoclast, I jazzed mine up, since we already had the chocolate and candy thing going, with a scattering of chocolate chips right under the top bit of batter before you put on the topping. As expected, they dropped down to near the bottom of the cake.

This is the best coffee-chocolate cake ever!

Sweetie really liked this cake and he's not really a cake person. He said that not only did he enjoy the coffee flavor and really enjoy the crunchy topping, but that he liked how well it kept, even not refrigerated. He does enjoy New York style crumb cake for breakfast sometimes at our favorite cafe. That's probably why he sees this as a breakfast treat. I enjoyed a slice with tea in the afternoon at work...I know it's a coffee cake, but I had tea on hand and no coffee...and it was just as nice for a snack as for breakfast.

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch CakeMakes one 9-inch round Cake
(recipe from Cake Keepers Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

For the Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

For the Streusel

1 cup - 4 Heath bars (1.4 oz. each) chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp butter, softened

Optional - 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method - Streusel
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a round 9-inch springform pan.

Combine the chopped Heath bars, brown sugar, flour and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your fingers until it resembles large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Method - Cake
Combine the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. (Note: I left the espresso powder out of the dry ingredients and dissolved it in the milk because mine had so many lumps).

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture and half the milk, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Repeat, alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with the spatula. Scatter the chilled streusel onto the batter, distributing it evenly over the cake. (Note: I added 3/4 of the batter to the pan and spread it out, then scattered the chocolate chips over the batter as evenly as possible, then added the rest of the batter and spread it over the chips, then added the streusel as the recipe called for.)

Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (Note; You may find that less baking time is needed...start checking at 45 minutes.) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake form the pan bottom onto a wire rack. Cool. (Note: I left the cake on the pan bottom until it was completely cool and that worked fine, too. Actually I served it from the cake pan bottom so I'm not sure about moving the cooled cake to a rack.)

I loved this cake from my first slice (and it was really difficult convincing myself to leave it at one slice). It is moist (I took it out of the oven once the sides started to pull away from the pan...about 50 minutes), has just the right amount of coffee flavor for me and the struesel is yummy! If you like coffee I think you will love this cake. XO Elle

Now check out the other Cake Slice Bakers' renditions of this yummy cake. The blogroll is HERE.


  1. Yours looks fabulous! I could definitely go for some extra chocolate chips too :)

  2. Whatever time of the day this one was a winner!!

    Love your addition of the chocolate chips - this would be perfect for me, except I'd have mine with a big mug of coffee!

  3. your look delicious.. moist and the top looks crunchy and wonderful

  4. it looks so great..... :)

  5. This looks fantastic - delicious and easy. I have everything but the Heath bars; guess where I'm going tomorrow.

  6. Oh Yes, love this cake in my cupcake version!

    Will follow the chocolate chips idea the next time I bake it!

  7. Yum!! A coffee cake with the health bars on top just needs some ice cream to make us all eat half the cake (not the slice, half the whole cake!) When can we come for tea??

  8. Wow I love the idea of adding the chocolate chunks. Coffee and chocolate are so yummy together. Your topping looks divine

  9. Anonymous7:16 AM

    Looks delicious! I see we both were on the same page with the chocolate chips!

  10. Look great! Good call on the extra chocolate too!

  11. Great looking cake! It is so funny but growing up in Australia coffee cake, waffles, pancakes - well they were not for breakfast they were dessert. I'll have to disregard this and have a nice slice of my cake with coffee in the morning.

  12. You're right, this is a similar nice and friendly cake. Thanks for the link!