Monday, 13 May 2013

Espresso, Chocolate and Ginger Pudding Cake

Coffee coffee coffee is mainly what I have been consuming these past few days, all in the name of research you see! De'Longhi set me a challenge to create a dessert, using their Vintage Icona Bar Pump coffee machine. Unfortunately when you work shifts for a living, fitting blogging and trial runs around can be a challenge in itself, and I found myself Saturday night priming the machine and making a few test espresso's, Bedtime was very late that night!

After mastering the machine, which is far easier when you have read the instruction booklet before the quick start guide its amazingly quick to product the perfect espresso! There is the option of single or double filtered, both which produce a beautifully smooth espresso in moments. I have also used the espresso to make my favoured americano coffee and have been very impressed by the results.

Preparing the coffee - I am learning to just slightly under fill it as otherwise I can't get it to clip into the machine:

The perfect Espresso - 

So now the coffee was mastered, it was on to making something sweet with its results! I did have ideas of creating a somewhat fanicer dessert than cake but then reality reminded me that all my cookery books are currently boxed up ahead of moving house at the end of this week, and the fact is fancy desserts are not really an area I am experienced in. The other challenge was that most of my cooking items were also boxed up, and I had to take my ingredients over to my mums house in order to bake so I had to be relatively organised with my planning for once!

When doing my planning, I started by writing down a few ideas, then deciding what flavour's work well with coffee, I.e. dates, chocolate, cream, cardamom, rum, ginger....and allowing for my current circumstances what was going to be achievable! Mum was in the kitchen helping me to decide and sniffing the selection of ingredients, ginger is not the best one to sniff!

Cake is something I don't think you can go too wrong with, and I decided to go along the lines of a pudding style of cake, baked in a dish rather than an iced type of sponge. One of the thoughts was sticky coffee pudding, rather than sticky toffee but I couldn't decide on whether to make a seperate sauce or bake it in the style of a self saucing pudding... I wanted to get the espresso flavour really into the cake, and soaked the dates for a good few hours in freshly made espresso, before incorporating it all into the mixture. The final result was a surprisingly light and moist cake, with a nice, smooth espresso flavour, compared to a coffee cake, which has an entirely different taste. 


225ml freshly brewed single espresso
100g ready to eat dates, chopped up

150g Self raising flour
175g butter or margarine
Butter for greasing dish
25g good quality cocoa powder - I always use a Polish one
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp baking powder
100g cinnamon infused sugar (from Sainsbury's)
1tsp ground ginger 

Start by soaking the chopped dates in the espresso for at least two hours

Pre-heat oven to gas 4

1) Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
2) Mix together the dried ingredients
3) Using a handwhisk or similar, add a third or so of the egg to the butter mixture, followed by about a third of the dried mixture, mix and repeat until fully incorporated.
4) Fold in the dates, reserving the soaking liquid

5) Butter the baking dish - I used a large rectangular pyrex dish, roughly a4 sized

6) Fill the dish with cake mixture and smooth over. Pour over the reserved liquid and bake for 55 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back. It should be moist inside but cooked through

7) Portion up and serve with lashings of custard or cream

Mum loved the cake, I think I would make a teeny bit sweeter next time but that's because I have a sweeter tooth!


  1. This sounds a really interesting dessert. I love using dates to provide moisture in this sort of pudding, but I'm not sure I'd have thought of using coffee and ginger together.

  2. Oh with custard for me please Anne. Slurp!


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