Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunny Anderson Rocks!

I thought Sunny's mini espresso cakes would be good, but there was no way I could know HOW GOOD.

Do yourselves a favor. Double (at least) this recipe. Then you’ll have enough give away to friends, family and even sell on the street. They are sensational. AND the uncooked batter is sooooooooooo good that you’ll be lucky if you have any left to actually put in the pans.

WHY are they so good? They definitely have a strong coffee flavor which goes wonderfully with a cup of coffee. But the texture is light, the cake is moist and they’re just sweet enough to be the perfect tea-time type of snack.

I’m raving about them, even though 2 ingredients gave me pause. I thought I had instant espresso powder. Apparently, when you keep it in the pantry for a decade it can get moldy. I went to 2 stores. Neither had any.

I couldn’t bring myself to buy instant “dark” coffee for 10 bucks, so I bought regular instant coffee and then searched on the web for equivalents. One place said to use 50% more. I put in the correct amount at first and that was verging on bitter, so I left it at that and it was fine. It was more than fine. It was great.

The instant coffee gets added to sour cream.

I used regular sour cream. The other ingredient I wondered about was ½ of a “heaped” teaspoon of baking powder. I don’t like “heaped”, “around”, “sort of this much” in baked recipes, so I used ¾ teaspoon.

Oh, one more thing, the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 2 yolks. Sorry, but
unless I KNOW I have meringue in my immediate future, I will almost always just use whole eggs. I used 3 here, and there didn’t seem to be a problem.

One other thing I did. I used my ice cream scoop to transfer the batter (that I hadn’t eaten) to the mini loaf pans. I started with 2 “heaping” scoops in each one.

I had a lot more batter, so I added another scoop and then scraped whatever was left in the bowl (it took every ounce of will power not to scrape it into my mouth) evenly into the little pans.

Sunny has a luscious peanut butter icing, but I was mailing these and I felt that if my recipients couldn’t have the peanut butter icing, then it would be churlish of me to make myself some. A sprinkling of powdered sugar or a powdered sugar glaze would be fine. I left them as they were – and I was very, VERY happy.

Note #1: These cakes are for coffee lovers. Sorry to those who can’t or won’t taste them…but more for us.

Note #2: The next morning that Peanut Butter Frosting was tugging at my brain, so I whipped up a bit. (I used crunchy, not creamy, peanut butter.)

I added a few drops of lemon juice, just to brighten the flavor.

It is a very good recipe, but the cakes are a very, VERY good plain and, believe me, when I tell you these cakes don’t need the frosting. They won’t be harmed or worsened, but the icing is definitely optional.

Now what if we added a bit of chocolate to the peanut butter and then we could have a whole mocha thing happening? THAT might be another story. Another day…

At the risk of total hyperbole…the world is a better place for having this recipe in it.


DebCarol said...

Oh this is funny . . . I just purchased a jar of instant coffee to use in a cookie recipe (mocha chocolate crinkles), and I was wondering what else I could do with it - as I don't drink instant coffee. So I am going to get to work making this recipe. Must be fate.

Lunch Buckets said...

Wow - strong praise!

Sunny Anderson said...

i am humbled by your taste buds. :-) so so so glad you liked it, i agree, the frosting is overkill and i also agree chocolate is in the near future for this recipe. i have another instant coffee recipe on the way to use up the rest of your new purchase. reading reviews online is way better than watching people eat your food at a catered event waiting for facial expressions, make people uncomfortable :-). and btw, love the top chef play by plays ... sunny

Sue said...


We must be psychic...You HAVE to let me know what you think. I need to know if I'm insane or if this is just the most insanely good recipe.

Try it...you'll like it.

You're the sweetest. Thank you so much for reaching out. I saw you do this recipe a little bit ago and I filed it away, but I had no idea that I would love it so much.

I didn't include the picture of the 3 (remaining) little loaf tins, because I didn't want anyone to figure out where the 4th one went.

I can't wait for the next coffee recipe, but I'm more than happy to use up my jar on this one.

Top Chef IS fun to watch and write about.

Jen said...

Sue-- these cakes look so good. Now that I'm finally finished with the semester and have time to make real (aka not microwaved) cake I think I will be giving these a try.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

well now...you have me in a dither! These look (and sound) so good, and I only have espresso powder...ya think that'll do?
I'm making these for last minute gifts. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

Wow, a FN cake that isn't Ina's and has butter in it or doesn't come from a mix -- I am impressed! They really sound delicious too. I haven't seen mini loaf-pans in my supermarket. How big are they?


ps: I'd try them with a chocolate glaze, 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate melted, then beat in 4 tb soft butter one tb at a time, stir it over ice water if it doesn't thicken.

Sue said...

You could have used these during your late night studying. Let me know what you think.

YES, it's fine! In fact, that's what the recipe calls for. I couldn't find it, so I used regular instant coffee. Yours will be even better than mine.

Hi Tom,
Yummy chocolate glaze. What is so great about these little cakes is that they really don't need the icing. But adding chocolate to Sunny's peanut butter icing might be really good.

Sue said...

PS Tom,
The foil mini loaf tins are where the other foil containers are - the roasting pan thingies and the regular sized loaf tins. I've never NOT seen them.

Emily said...

Well now I've got to make these, they way you rave about them. Did you like them in loaf form? I suppose you could make muffin-cakes.

I'm a coffee lover, so I know I would like these. Sunny does rock!

Cynthia said...

That is some seriously high praise coming from you. Sunny should feel proud!

DebCarol said...

Amazing, simply amazing. Made these and took to a holiday gathering. I sliced the loaves, arranged them on a pretty silver tray, dusted them with Confectioner's Sugar. In a blink of an eye, the tray was empty with just a sprinkling of sugar left behind. I a left with requests to bring them for Christmas and Sue - you are right, you could sell them on the street!

Sue said...

I really think you'd love them. And muffins would be a great idea. Much more portable.

Thank you, Cyn!

I'm so delighted that I wasn't making it up. I love the way you served them. Do you think if we sold them, we'd have to share the profits with Sunny?

Tracy said...

Sounds yummy! I haven't watched Sunny's show yet but cool that she commented.

Lys said...

Sunny has some of the BEST recipes, IMO. As for these cakes, I must try. Guess it was worth it to pick up the instant espresso powder when I was traveling because, quite simply, trying to find anything like that in Orlando is like searching for the Holy Grail.

Thanks for the tips - will attempt this weekend.

Jen said...

Hi Sue- I made these cakes right after you posted about them but only got around to putting up most post today. The were fabulous. I'm not quite sure but a link to my post has magically appeared on the bottom of yours so if you want to check it out you can click there...