Cup North was all I hoped it would be. Having missed it last year due to family commitments, this year I threw both feet into the caffeine fun.
As I mentioned last week, I knew the chaps from Heart & Graft would be there, and Grindsmiths of course, but the northern coffee scene is rich and vibrant and I couldn’t wait to see who else I’d spot.
One I was thrilled to see was Carvetii Coffee from Cumbria – one of the first coffee roasters to trust my tastebuds (and my baking skills) one of their roasts is responsible for a seriously boozy coffee liqueur and hazelnut cake. And yet we hadn’t met til Cup North.
Next door, was perhaps one of my biggest discoveries of the day, Stephensons Dairy. The first dairy in the UK to offer free range milk, and having sampled their free range milk on the day, the difference is incredible. The cows are grazed outside for at least half the year, meaning they have happier healthier lives, and the milk is sweeter, richer. Cup North traders were luck enough to be able to use it throughout the weekend. Currently only available in North Lancashire, they’re actively working to get more farmers to sign up. The day it’s available in Manchester, is the day I revert back to a doorstep delivery.
Back to the caffeine, and Neighbourhood Coffee have to get a mention. They have the most puntastic names for their coffee, using song titles as a base. Now chaps, you did promise a bag of coffee for any new ones, so can I suggest ‘All Over the Roast’ (All Over the Road, Rival Sons), Siphon Seems to be the Hardest Word (Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, Elton John), and Frothy Lady (Foxy Lady, Jimi Hendrix).
Seriously, any more ideas, tell them. I’ve barely scratched the surface!
Finally, before I post the second coffee cake recipe (sorry, I was getting to it), there were Bean Brothers – I stopped by to sample their ‘Boozy Glady’s’ (it was the name, I am guilty) in all it’s fruity glory, I also noticed that they supply the espresso for Squawk Brewing Co’s Espresso Stout – a corker of a beer.
Returning to the reason for this post, as mentioned in the post last week, I made two cakes for Heart & Graft to sample at the festival. One was based on a cocktail. This one, was based on flavour. I love Greek coffees – spice and caffeine in a big hefty caffeine hit. But when it came to the cake, I needed to lighten things a bit – if you’re going to drink it with coffee, you don’t want to overpower the tastebuds. So I took those flavours, added a little alcohol and a little fruit and here you have it. My favourite of the two cakes, my orange and cinnamon coffee cake.
- 125g Caster sugar
- 125g Demerara sugar
- 250g Butter (softened)
- 4 Eggs
- 250g Self raising flour
- 1 Double shot espresso (or 2 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved in water)
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 200ml Double cream
- 35ml Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Preheat your oven to 160C (Gas Mark 3).
- Grease and line two small cake tins.
- Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs then add to the mixture a little at a time.
- Add the cooled coffee to the mixture and mix until combined.
- Sift in the flour and the cinnamon and fold until it just comes together.
- Pour into the tins and pop into the oven for around 30 minutes.
- Check your cakes after the 30 minutes with a skewer, and when the skewer comes our clean, they're finished and can cool on a cake rack. If not, let them cook a little longer.
- In the meantime, add the bourbon and orange zest to the cream and beat until it form soft peaks.
- Once the cakes have cooled, top one with the boozy cream, and sandwich them together.
- Dust with a little extra cinnamon and serve with a cup of black coffee.