Cardamom and Coffee Marbled Cake

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If you like cardamom, you should try this cake!  Like most cakes that were denser to start with, it works well gluten free.  The coffee flavor is very subtle, so if you like coffee, you might want to add more.  The classic chocolate-vanilla version is here.

 

Cardamom and Coffee Marbled Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 9″ x 4″ loaf cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325ºF.
  2. Butter and flour a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan.  Place pan on an insulated baking sheet or on 2 regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
  3. Using a stand mixer (preferably with the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  The batter might curdle, but don’t worry.
  6. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  8. On low speed, alternately beat in flour and milk in 3 additions of flour and 2 of milk (this is more important if you’re using normal flour, where you don’t want to over-beat).
  9. Scrape half the batter into a mixing bowl and stir in cardamom.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the instant coffee powder and boiling water.  Stir coffee mixture into the other half of the batter.
  11. Drop spoonfuls of cardamom and coffee batters randomly into the loaf pan.
  12. Plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag from one end of the pan to the other, making only 6-8 zigzags.  Even though it’s fun, you don’t want to mix the two batters too much.
  13. Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  14. Cool cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unmolding.  Cool to room temperature right side up on rack.
  15. Wrap the cake well and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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Azuki Coffee Jelly

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Back in fifth grade, my Japanese-American teacher gave us this recipe for a red bean coffee jelly dessert.  It’s simple, delicious, and pretty with its two contrasting layers, and we’ve continued to make it over the years.

Note on pan size: The original recipe calls for a 9″ x 11″ pan, but any pan with a similar surface area will work.  Actually, any pan will work – it will just change the thicknesses (and aesthetics) of the layers and the amount of time the dessert takes to chill and set.

 

Azuki Coffee Jelly
From my fifth grade teacher

Yield: 9″ x 11″ pan

  • 4 envelopes (about 4 rounded tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can tsubushi-an (sweetened red bean paste with beans)

 

  1. In a large bowl, place 1/2 cup cold water, sprinkle in gelatin, and mix well.  This step prevents lumps from forming.
  2. Stir in 2 cups boiling water.
  3. Stir in instant coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and tsubushi-an.
  4. Lightly grease a 9″ x 11″ pan (or a pan with a similar surface area) and pour in coffee-gelatin mix.  The tsubushi-an will settle to the bottom in an even layer.
  5. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill overnight, or until set.

Coffee Frosting/Filling

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If you love coffee, here’s a coffee-flavored frosting or filling that goes well in, say, a Bûche de Noël or on top of some cupcakes.  Since it uses regular white sugar instead of powdered sugar, you don’t even need to worry about cornstarch.

Coffee Frosting/Filling
From Betty Crocker

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules or crystals

  1. Beat everything together on high speed until frosting/filling is stiff.
  2. There is no second step….  You’ll have about 3 cups of frosting/filling.