Kahlua Espresso CakeThe “Kahlua Espresso Cake,” from the January/February 2017 issue of Bake From Scratch, called out to me. At the same time, it offered the comforts of a loaf pan and the exoticism of Kahlua (recipe below).

Kahlua Espresso Cake
Bake From Scratch, January/February 2017
Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Kahlua
2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (10 grams) baking powder
1/4 tsp.  kosher salt

Swirled Glaze:
1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Line with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.

For cake: In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Add milk, coffee liqueur and espresso powder, stirring until coffee is dissolved. Whisk in eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

For glaze: In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (74 grams) confectioners’ sugar, coffee liqueur, and espresso powder. In another small bowl, stir together cream and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (74 grams) confectioners’ sugar. Pour glazes over cooled cake, and swirl.

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Kahlua Espresso CakeMake sure you have vanilla bean paste, Kahlua, and instant espresso powder (I do). This cake is mixed in a bowl by hand -- no stand mixer necessary. I needed to bake this cake for 80 minutes, until a wooden pick came out clean. You’ll stir together two different glazes: a coffee glaze and a white sugar glaze. I added a few extra drops of Kahlua to the coffee glaze, because it was too dry. The thick icings were nice to swirl atop the cooled cake.

This is a lovely cake, buttery and soft. The sweet coffee icing was a real treat.

PREP TIME: batter and icings mix quickly, cake bakes in 80 minutes
TASTE: buttery, soft, and sweet enough; coffeelicious

Next time, I’ll get warm and cozy with bread and soup. I want to make the “Rosemary Parmesan Soda Bread,” from the March/April 2017 issue of Bake From Scratch (recipe below), along with the “Greek Chicken and Rice Soup with Egg and Lemon,” from the March/April 2017 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). Come back to my site next week, to enjoy these with me.

Rosemary Parmesan Soda Bread
Bake From Scratch, March/April 2017
Makes 1 (8-inch) boule

4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. flaked sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, rosemary, salt, baking soda, and pepper. Stir in cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Knead dough just until ingredients are combined.

On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a ball. Place on prepared pan pressing to flatten dough into a 7-inch circle, 1 1/2 inches thick. With a sharp knife, score a shallow “X” on top of dough. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt.

Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess  browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes.

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Greek Chicken and Rice Soup with Egg and Lemon (Avgolemono)
Cook’s Illustrated, March/April 2017
Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
12 (3-inch) strips lemon zest plus 6 Tbsp. juice, p0lus extra juice for seasoning (3 lemons)
2 sprigs fresh dill, plus 2 tsp. chopped
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
8 cups chicken  broth
1 cup long-grain rice
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Toss with 1 3/4 tsp. salt and let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Cut 8-inch square of triple-thickness cheesecloth. Place lemon zest, dill sprigs, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and garlic in center of cheesecloth and tie into bundle with kitchen twine.

Bring broth, rice, and spice bundle to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add chicken, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Transfer chicken to large plate and discard spice bundle. Using two forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Using ladle, transfer 1 cup cooked rice to blender (leave any liquid in pot). Add lemon juice and eggs and yolks to blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Return soup to simmer over high heat. Remove pot from heat and stir in egg mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in chopp0ed dill and season with salt, pepper and extra lemon juice to taste. Serve.