Caramel Coffee Crunch Cake

Cream Frosting & Salted Caramel Drizzle

Ingredients

Coffee Crunch Honeycomb:
1/2 cup granulated sugar [100 g]
2 tbsp corn syrup (sub: honey) [30 mL]
1/4 cup hot-brewed coffee [60 mL]
1 tsp baking soda [5 g]

Caramel Drizzle:
1/2 cup granulated sugar [100 g]
4 tsp water [20 mL]
1/3 cup heavy cream (room temp) [80 mL]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter [24.4]
1/4 tsp table salt [1.4 g]

White Cream Cake:
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temp) [227.2 g]
6 large egg whites (room temp) [180 g]
1 1/4 cups whole milk (room temp) [300 mL]
1/2 cup vegetable oil [120 mL]
2 tsp clear vanilla extract (sub: regular vanilla extract) [10 mL]
3 cups all-purpose flour [360 g]
1 tbsp baking powder [12 g]
1/2 tsp table salt [2.8 g]
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar [350 g]

Coffee Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese (room temp) [226.4 g]
2/3 cup granulated sugar [133.3 g]
2 tsp clear vanilla extract (sub: regular vanilla extract) [10 mL]
3 2/3 cups heavy cream (very cold) [880 mL]
1/4 tsp instant espresso (sub: instant coffee) [0.5 g]

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Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
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Instructions



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Coffee Crunch Honeycomb:

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Make sure it covers all surfaces of the pan, otherwise candy will stick to the pan.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and give it a shake so it lays flat in the pan. Add 2 tbsp of corn syrup, and 1/4 cup of hot-brewed coffee (can be hot or cold), so that all of the sugar has been moistened, but do not stir. Turn the heat to very high, and watch closely as the sugar starts to dissolve and the ingredients start to meld together. Heat has to be high, otherwise the temperature will not rise properly. Do not worry about sugar burning.

Once the mixture begins to boil, attach your candy thermometer. Do not stir. Cook the mixture to 300 F (150 C), which should take about 5–10 minutes depending on the strength of your stove heat, then remove the pan from the heat. Have 1 tsp baking soda ready so you can add it in immediately after the sugar mixture hits 300 F (150 C).

Make sure the saucepan is right next to the parchment paper-lined 8x8 pan. Then add in 1 tsp of baking soda, whisk for about 5 seconds, then immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined pan, creating a flat and even layer of honeycomb on the parchment paper. Do not over-stir or you'll end up deflating your candy and they won't have any holes

Let your coffee crunch honeycomb cool for 1 hour until hardened, then lift the honeycomb out of the pan with parchment paper, and break into pieces with a knife. We will only use large chunks for this cake - the smaller bits can be discarded.

Immediately store the coffee crunch honeycomb chunks in an airtight container, otherwise it will absorb moisture from the air and soften. Set them aside.

(Note: Honeycomb will keep for 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container)

Caramel Drizzle:

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1/2 cup sugar and 4 tsp water. Do not stir the sugar. Just gently swirl the pan to make sure sugar is heating evenly.

Bring the sugar-water mixture to a boil until it turns into a copper/amber color. Be careful not to let it get too dark, otherwise it will have a slightly bitter burnt flavor. Turn off the heat as soon as it turns light amber. It will continue to darken with residual heat.

Then while vigorously whisking, very slowly add in 1/3 cup of room temperature heavy cream, and vigorously whisk it in. Be careful of the hot steam from the initial addition of heavy cream. Adding the heavy cream very slowly will prevent the caramel from seizing up. But if the sugar does seize up into a solid ball, don't worry. Just keep whisking and it will melt again.

Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and turn on the heat to medium-low. Mix in the butter and continue whisking for 3 minutes, until the caramel has thickened a little.

Let the caramel cool completely to room temperature before drizzling.

White Cream Cake:

Let 16 tbsp (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, 6 large egg whites, and 1 1/4 cups of whole milk come completely to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 340 F and prep two 9" round cake pans. Butter the sides and bottoms of the pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper as well.

In a small mixing bowl, add in 1 1/4 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract. Mix to combine and set this aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and a sieve, add in 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Sift them in, and whisk them together to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the 16 tbsp of room temperature butter. With a paddle attachment, mix on medium-high speed until the butter is smooth. While continuing to mix on medium-high speed, slowly add in 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, continue whipping on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture looks light and fluffy.

Turn the speed down to medium-low, and slowly add in the 6 room temperature egg whites. It's very important that the egg whites are at room temperature, and wait for the added egg white to get fully incorporated before adding more.

When the egg whites are fully incorporated, continue to mix on medium-low, add in one-third of the dry ingredients, and mix until fully incorporated. Then add in one-third of the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Continue alternating between dry and wet ingredients (one-third at a time), till you've added till everything has been added. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the paddle attachment and mixing bowl as needed.

Divide this batter into the 2 prepared 9" round cake pans. Smoothen the surfaces as much as possible with your spatula. Tap the pans on the counter gently to get rid of any large air bubbles, and make sure the batter is evenly distributed. If you have them, soak 2 cake strips in cold water, then add them to the cake pans. These will prevent the cakes from doming during baking. Bake in your preheated oven at 340 F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let them cool in the pans for 5 minutes on a metal rack. Then carefully invert the cakes onto metal racks, lift off the pans, peel off the parchment paper the cakes were baked with, and let them finish cooling to room temperature.

Coffee Cream Filling and Frosting:

Let 8 oz of cream cheese come to room temperature.

In the bowl of the stand-mixer, add in 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese, 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp of instant espresso (sub: instant coffee). Then using a paddle attachment, beat them together till the cream cheese has softened and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the bowl for any unmixed cream cheese.

Then while beating on medium speed, slowly add in 3 2/3 cups of very cold heavy cream, and continue to beat for about 1 minute, until the cream cheese and heavy cream are combined and uniform. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle attachment and the bowl.

Switch to a whisk attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture forms very stiff peaks. Leave this frosting in the fridge till you're ready to use it.

Assembling the Cake:

Place a cake board on a revolving cake stand. Place the first layer of white cake in the center of the cake board.

Then spread about 1/2 cup of the coffee cream frosting mixture on top, creating an even and flat layer as much as possible. Scatter half of the coffee crunch honeycomb chunks onto the cream frosting, pressing them into the cream frosting. Then spread about 1 cup of the coffee cream frosting on top of the coffee crunch honeycomb, filling in any gaps.

Place the second layer of white cake on top.

Fill in the gaps on the sides with frosting, and cover the sides of the cake with a thin layer of the coffee cream frosting, and then the same thing with the top of the cake. Use a bench scraper to smoothen out this thin crumb coat while rotating the revolving cake stand. This thin crumb coat should catch any crumbs. Place this cake in the fridge for 20 minutes for the crumb coat to firm up a bit. Also place the unused cream frosting in the fridge.

When the crumb coat has hardened, apply a final layer of the white cream frosting around the sides of the cake, as well as the top. And again, use the bench scraper to smoothen out the surfaces as much as possible while rotating the revolving cake stand. Be sure to save about 2 cups of frosting to make rosettes on top of the cake.

If you have an icing comb, you can create a pattern on the outside surface of the frosting at this point. I'm just using the icing cake to create a pattern around the sides of the cake.

Transfer the remaining 2 cups of frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. I use a number 1M. Pipe out big dollops around the circumference of the cake, about 1 inch away from the edge. I aim for about 18 dollops total.

Ladle the room temperature caramel into a small Ziploc bag or a disposable piping bag. The caramel should be at room temp and *not* be hot, otherwise it will melt the frosting. Seal the bag. If your caramel is too solid and not a drizzly consistency, place the sealed bag of caramel in a bowl of lukewarm water, massaging the bag, to get all the caramel warmed up a bit. When the caramel has softened and the consistency feels conducive to drizzling, cut a very small hole at the tip, and outline the top of each dollop of frosting with a thin spiral swirl of caramel. Then cut a slightly bigger hole on the same tip, and drizzle a thicker flow of caramel right at the edge of the cake, allowing caramel to drip down the sides of the cake. Caramel is very flowy, so be conservative with how much you drip, as it will continue to drip down and off your cake if you add too much.

Rest the cake in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Putting it in the fridge for a minimum of 10 minutes will also firm up the caramel and prevent it from over-dripping. When you're ready to serve, take the cake out of the fridge, and create a mound in the middle of the cake with the remaining coffee crunch chunks. (Do not add these in advance, otherwise they will start to become soggy and lose their crunch). Enjoy!

This cake is best served the same day, as the coffee crunch chunks in the cake will get soggy and lose their crunch over time. Store leftovers in the fridge.

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