Thanksgiving is upon us and as I am reflecting back on a 2014 that’s almost over, I feel extremely grateful and thankful for the wonderful opportunities we’ve had but most importantly for the great people we got to interact with this year. Partners, mentors, friends, family, investors, brokers, service providers…
And as we all have been wishing each other a Happy Thanksgiving, we of course couldn’t help but talk about food and family traditions. Mentioning my father’s “No-Bake Coffee Butter Cream Cake” has been triggering quite some curiosity and interest.
In a perfect world, I wish we could all be gathered this holiday season to celebrate together but reality will, sadly, be otherwise. So my gift to you this Thanksgiving is many, many blessings and the hope that this little recipe will bring more happiness and excitement to you and your loved ones’ taste buds this Thanksgiving or end of year Holidays.
Dada’s No-Bake Coffee Butter Cream Cake
- 2 stick of unsalted butter, or better yet, of “European” butter (8oz) – room temperature (super important)
- 2 egg yolks
- 10 ounces of powdered sugar
- Instant coffee
- 3 boxes of Petit Beurre (Tea Biscuit) cookies, easily found in the European cookie aisle of your local grocery store (Vanilla-flavor “Kedem” brand “Tea Biscuits” in the Kosher aisle works too)
- dark rum (like Captain Morgan)
To create the coffee extract:
Microwave 1 table spoon of granulated sugar, 8 table spoons of water and 3 table spoons of instant coffee in a small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds. Stir until sugar and coffee are dissolved. Let it cool down.
Now let’s make the butter cream:
In a big bowl, mix the butter, egg yolks and powdered sugar. Slowly add two thirds of the cold coffee concentrate (when Dad’s not around, I use a hand-held mixer for this. I suggest you do too). Taste to see if the coffee taste is strong enough for you. If not, pour the rest. Mix until you reach a creamy spreadable texture. You’ll have to show your plastering skills using this mix soon… 🙂
In a soup plate, pour 2 shot glasses of water and 1 shot glass of rum.
Grab a Petit Beurre cookie and dunk it in this mix for no more than 2-3 seconds.
Remove it and place it on your flat serving dish (or cookie sheet).
You want your cookie to absorb the liquid but if you leave it in there too long, it will decompose in the liquid or disintegrate between the soup bowl and your serving dish.
Repeat this with another cookie and place it next to the first cookie, and then again 6 more times so as to build your cake’s base with 8 cookies, see picture below (though this was already a few levels up. You get the idea).
Now… This is where the construction fun begins!!
Grab a spatula or a flat wide knife. Spread a thin layer of coffee butter cream all over your cookies. If the surface of the cookie comes off and sticks to your spatula, you are probably applying too much strength and / or you left the cookie in the rum mix for a second or 2 too many.
Now that your cookies are fully covered with coffee butter cream, add another layer of dipped cookies, and cover your cookies with another layer of butter cream. Repeat until you run out of cookies and/or cream, whatever comes first. If you have extra cream, you can delicately spread it around the edges of the cake.
Now, refrigerate overnight so the cream hardens again.
The best about this cake is that it tastes better with time as the rum and coffee flavor penetrates the cookie deeply. Day 2 or 3 is sooooo good!
Below are some Tips and Tricks on how to make this cake along with a few variations of the recipe. Also, if you are in the middle of the making this cake and you have a question, don’t hesitate, call me up, I always answer my cell phone!
Tips and Tricks
- Instead of spreading the butter cream with a spatula, I transfer some of the butter cream into a small ziplock bag and I make a small cut in a bottom corner of it. Then I just “draw lines” side-by-side on the cookies. It avoids the crumbling. But then it diminishes the fun building part!
- You can make a chocolate version by replacing the coffee concentrate with melted chocolate chip in milk or with your favorite cocoa powder.
- You can also use the Kedem Chocolate-flavor Tea Biscuits and alternate them with the regular vanilla-flavored ones, for a different visual appeal. (I think the Chocolate-flavored ones don’t taste much like chocolate).
- You can also build a single-serving cookie similar to this picture.
- I actually always make myself a separate single serving where I lay 2 layers of cookie for one layer of butter cream. I have tried to convert the whole family to this “lighter” version of the cake, but without success.
- I happen to like rum more than milk, so I’ve never tried it, but I have heard that you can replace the water-rum mix by milk 🙂
- You can do a web search for “no bake cookie cream cake” too and many variations are out there, however, there is only one that tastes like “Dada’s Cake”!