This is a grown-up party piece.
It is a massive beast of a cake – you will need a very large mixing bowl and/or a large food processor.
makes: 1 x deep 20 cm/8 in round cake
cook: 30–35 minutes
store: 2 days in airtight tin
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You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush 3 x 20 cm/8 in shallow cake tins with melted butter and dust with tapioca flour.
Put all of the cake ingredients and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 2–3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Divide the mixture between the 3 tins and bake for 30–35 minutes, until firm and springy to the touch.
Meanwhile, prepare the coffee drench. Mix the coffee, sugar and whiskey in a jug, add the boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves.
You need to slice the rounded top off 1 of the cakes – a quarter to a fifth of its depth. Keep this slice of cake to use for the crumb decoration.
While the 3 cakes are still warm, pierce them all over with a skewer. Pour roughly equal amounts of the hot coffee drench over each of the cakes. Leave in the tins to cool. Turn out onto a rack covered in baking parchment. You will now be looking at their flat bottoms. Blitz the reserved slice of cake in a food processor to a breadcrumb-like consistency.
To make the coffee liqueur icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the liqueur, melted butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and spreadable. It mustn’t be sloppy, but it should be easy to apply. If necessary, add milk or more liqueur, a tablespoon or so at a time, to loosen the icing.
Spread each sponge with the icing, and then layer them up with the thinner cake (from which you removed a slice) in the middle. Spread icing over the sides and top of the cake. Spread the cake crumbs on a clean surface and roll your cake in the crumbs. Decorate with chocolate-coated coffee beans.
For a smaller cake
Make half quantities for a 23 cm/9 in springform tin or 900 g/2 lb loaf tin. The baking time stays the same. Slice in half and sandwich with icing.