“Rich with the flavours of pecans, sweet butter and creamy toffee, this simple
coffee cake is fabulous!
1/2 tightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened
cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3/4 cup English toffee pieces for baking,
such as Skor Bits
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for decoration
( I left out the confection sugar, the cake was sweet enough.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees [F.] Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan and tap out excess flour. Prepare the filling:
in the bowl of a food processor combine
the brown and granulated sugars with the espresso powder. Pulse several
times to grind the mixture quite finely and transfer to a small bowl. Add
the sifted cocoa and spices and mix with a fork until well blended. Add
the nuts and toffee pieces and stir to combine. Set aside.
2. Prepare the cake batter: sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a medium-sized bowl; set aside. In the bowl of
an electric mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Cream on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or about 5 minutes by hand, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, beating in
vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically
to make sure the mixture gets evenly blended.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just to blend after each addition and be careful not to overbeat at this point, or the crumb of the cake with be tough, not delicate and fine.
4. Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Using
a teaspoon, spread the batter evenly over the bottom and make a little
moat all the way around the centre to cradle the filling. Spoon 1/2 the
filling into the groove, being careful not to have any of the filling touch
the center tube or the sides of the pan, or it could scorch, making a
unmoulding very difficult! Smooth the filling down a bit, then
add another 1/3 of the batter. Again, spread the batter over the filling
and up the sides of the pan, creating another moat. Fill this groove with
the last of the filling and cover it with the remaining batter. Using the
spoon or a rubber spatula, spread the batter smoothly and evenly, making sure it goes right to the edges of the pan, covering any exposed
filling. The two layers of filling must be well separated by batter
5. Place pan on the centre rack of the preheated oven and bake for 50 to
65 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and the centre springs
back when lightly touched. A wooden skewer inserted about 2 inches
into the centre of the ring should come out clean, Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for
10 minutes, then invert the cake onto another rack and leave to cool
completely. This cake must be absolutely cool before you attempt to slice
it, or you’ll end up with one pile of cake and another of nutty toffee!
The cake keeps very well for 2 or 3 days, well wrapped at room
temperature. To serve, sift confectioners’ sugar over the top.