The frosting is quite rich, using mascarpone cheese, but this counteracts the slight bitterness of the coffee giving a more balanced final product.
Of course, the cake is great with coffee or tea at any time and I occasionally make this to share with work colleagues (and because there are students here, anything remotely cake-like disappears in a flash).
Because the cake itself is a fairly standard sponge batter this is surprisingly easy to make and you can have your cake ready on the cooling rack in 40 minutes from starting. So there is absolutely no reason no to bake it. And if you're looking for something a little different, why not make a coffee and rum cake. Simply replace 50ml (4 tbsp) of the coffee with rum in the mixture below.
Cappuccino Cake RecipeServes: 12
For the Cake:250g (9 oz) butter, softened
250g (9 oz) light brown sugar (plus 2 tbsp extra)
300g (10 oz) self-raising flour
4 eggs, beaten
50g (2 oz) walnut halves, lightly toasted and chopped
200ml (4/5 cup) strong coffee, cooled
For the Frosting:500g (1 lb) mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp light brown sugar
cocoa powder, for dusting
Method:Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add the flour and eggs and keep beating until the ingredients are evenly combined. Fold in the walnuts and half the coffee then spoon the batter into two 20cm sandwich tins that have been greased and lined.
Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for between 25 and 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and well risen. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Sweeten the remaining coffee with the 2 tbsp sugar and drizzle 4 tbsp of this mixture over the two sponges. Set aside until completely cool.
For the frosting, cream together the mascarpone, sugar and the remaining coffee until smooth. Use half of this frosting to sandwich the two sponges together. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake.
Decorate with a light dusting of cocoa powder, slice into wedges and serve.