Cafe de olla cake

When I was doing research on Latin cuisine, I came across an interesting beverage called cafe de olla. It is an earthy coffee drink with spices, namely cinnamon, anise, and clove, sometimes orange, in it that is normally served in a clay cup. It sounded like a lot of beautiful flavors, to be honest, and I knew I could work that into a cake. I took a base idea of an Opera cake, but changed up the components so that it is a true original. We have a spiced jaconde cake, using those spices in the drink, a cafe de olla soak, a buttercream infused with the drink and a little cacao, just for the earthiness that is lacking in the cake as a result of it not being served in a clay cup, and a spiced orange curd. I topped the cake with dried orange slices and spiced tempered chocolate, just to give the cake a beautiful finish.

For the dried orange slices:
1 blood orange

Slice the oranges to about 1/8 inch thickness. Spread on a parchment lined sheet tray and bake at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 180 degrees F and bake for another 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container.

For the jaconde:
3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3 egg whites
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of clove
a pinch of anise seed
zest from 2 oranges
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flours together into a bowl. Whip your eggs with the spices, orange zest, salt, and vanilla first, then add in the canola oil and half of your sugar, whisking until the eggs are pale yellow. Whip the rest of the sugar with the egg whites and baking powder to stiff peaks. Fold the three mixtures together. Spread onto a parchment-lined half sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Cool down the cake completely.

For the cafe de olla soak:
1/4 cup blue mountain coffee grounds
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of clove
a pinch of anise seed
juice and zest from 1 orange
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in a pot and reduce by 1/4 on medium low heat. Allow everything to sit for 10 minutes then pass through a strainer into a bowl. Save half of the soak for your cake, and then use the rest for the buttercream.

For the spiced orange curd:
Juice and zest from 6 oranges
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of clove
a pinch of anise seed
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Whisk the orange juice with the cornstarch and salt. Reduce that in a pot with the zest and spices, whisking on medium high heat until thickened enough to cling to the sides of your whisk. Take off heat and whisk in your coconut oil. Allow the curd to cool down to room temperature for assembly.

For the coffee-cacao buttercream:
Half of your soak
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter

Reduce your soak with cacao powder and sugar to a thick syrup. Pour into the egg yolks while whisking, then whisk in your vanilla to that. Whisk egg yolks until doubled in volume, then slowly mix in your softened butter until everything has combined into a creamy, smooth buttercream. Transfer into a piping bag.

For assembly:
In a 9 inch square cake mold, line it with some canola oil. Cut out 2 full squares of cake, and two half squares of cake. Place down the half squares of cake first, then add in some soak, and spread on your buttercream, then the curd. Refrigerate the layer for 10 minutes, then repeat the previous steps twice. Garnish with pipings of buttercream, the orange slices, and tempered chocolate with golf leaf.

For the tempered chocolate:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of clove
a pinch of fennel pollen
gold leaf

Melt the 3/4s of your chocolate and spices in a heatproof bowl on a double boiler until the chocolate reaches 100 degrees F. Take off heat and stir in the rest of your chocolate, and bring down the temperature to 85 degrees. Spread half of it onto acetate. Scrape the chocolate with a form and twist the acetate. Freeze solid. Spread the rest of your chocolate onto the acetate and refrigerate for that for 5 minutes. Cut out small squares and freeze for another 10 minutes. Remove all of your chocolate and arrange onto the cake with gold leaf.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Julia says:

    This is a beautiful cake!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kayli Jordan says:

    Orange, anise, cinnamon, and clove together sounds like such a comforting flavor combination-I understand it would inspire you to make this lovely cake. I definitely need to try a cup of cafe de olla soon! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tentimestea says:

    I always really like reading the thought process behind recipes. It’s those little things that impress me so much – like the idea of adding a bit of cacao to hint at the clay mug that the coffee would typically be served in. What a gorgeous cake!

    Liked by 1 person

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