17 September 2019 | company news | Views:

Macmillan Coffee Morning: coffee and cake... for charity? Go on then

Office cake culture. It’s a tricky one… those internal battles as you’re offered a chocolate digestive for the third time that day. The ‘hump day’ offerings of five sharing bags of Malteasers. But this is a guilt-free zone as it’s for charity!

The annual Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is speedily approaching, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re stocking up on self raising flour and chocolate chips, and we’re ready to annihilate our colleagues with our superior baking skills (…and raise lots of money for Macmillan Cancer Research, of course).

How does it work?

It’s pretty simple. Anyone who wants to host an event registers here, invites their guests (or team, if it’s in the office), and makes sure there’s lots of cake on offer to buy - with all proceeds going to Macmillan. We’re doing it in Pact HQ - keep an eye out on social for us bragging about all the cake on offer - and you should do it too.

We want to make it easy for you

True, it takes a bit of organising and some out-of-hours sponge baking… but it’s all worth it.

Especially as we’re willing to cover the coffee costs for you.

Yep, you read that right. If your office hosts its own Macmillan Coffee Morning, we will provide the coffee you’ll need for the event. For absolutely free. All you need to do is get in touch with your account manager, and they’ll sort it all out for you.

(Unfortunately we can’t provide the cakes and biscuits. But making them is half the fun!).

Tell us about your coffee morning!

We want to see what you got up to, and whose bake was a real winner! If you’re showing off your scones and chocolate chip cookies on social, then tag @pactcoffee - we’d love to see!

Recipe ideas for your team

Why restrict your coffee to being in liquid form? Coffee is the perfect ingredient for all the best bakes… here’s a few examples:

Coffee & walnut cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 250g butter (extra for greasing)
  • 100ml strong black coffee, cooled
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g walnuts (2tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped

Icing:

  • 100g icing sugar (extra for dusting)
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g mascarpone

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4

2. Butter 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment

3. Set aside 1 tbsp of the coffee for the filling

4. Beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and half the remaining coffee in a large bowl until lump-free

5. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts, then divide between the tins and roughly spread

6. Scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over one of the cakes

7. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until golden and risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean

8. Drizzle the plain cake with the remaining coffee and cool the cakes in the tins

9. Meanwhile, make the filling: beat together the icing sugar, cream and mascarpone, then fold in the reserved 2tbsp coffee

10. Spread icing over the plain cake, then cover with the walnut-topped cake and dust with a little icing sugar

Cappuccino pavlova

Ingredients:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 tsp espresso-grind coffee
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F

2. Line a flat oven sheet with baking parchment and, using a 23cm/9inch cake tin, draw a circle on it

3. Mix the sugar with the instant espresso powder in a small bowl and set aside

4. In a clean, grease-free metal bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they are holding soft peaks. Keep whisking while you add the sugar-coffee mixture a tablespoon at a time

5. When you have a firm, ecru-coloured meringue, fold in the cornflour and vinegar using a grease-free metal spoon. Dollop the meringue mixture inside the drawn circle. Smooth and shape it with a spatula so that it looks rather like the crown of a boater: it must be flat on top

6. Put it in the oven and immediately turn down to 150°C/gas mark 3/300°F and cook for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave inside until cool

7. Once the base is cool, lift it carefully in its paper and place it top-side down on a flat plate and peel off the paper

8. Whip the double cream until thick but soft, and spread delicately over the top of the meringue

9. With a teaspoon, push the cocoa through a fine sieve or tea strainer to decorate the top, cappuccino-style

Coffee shortbread

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain wholemeal flour
  • 125g cornflour
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso-ground coffee
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • Handful of chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan, gas mark 5).

2. Put the flour and cornflour into a processor with the butter, and blend to make crumbs

3. Add the sugar and coffee and blend again, until the mixture forms a ball

4. Knead lightly onto a floured surface

5. Grease a 20cm square tin and press the shortbread into the tin. Press a fork around the edges to make a pattern and prick the surface several times with a fork

6. Bake the shortbread for 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is pale golden and cooked through

7. Cool in the tin, then cut into 12 bars

8. Microwave the chocolate on high for 30 seconds, or until just melted. Dip the bottom of each chocolate-covered coffee bean in the chocolate, and arrange three on top of each coffee shortbread

Coffee banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 double shot of espresso
  • 100g raisins
  • 60g chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 overripe bananas (about 200-250g un-peeled weight), mashed
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 1 dessert spoon of espresso-ground coffee
  • 1 dessert spoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of Demerara sugar

Method:

1. Make a strong double espresso coffee and pour it over raisins in a bowl. Leave to soak until the coffee has gone cold and the raisins have plumped up (a day is ideal)

2. Then strain the raisins and set them aside for later

3. Line the sides and base of a loaf tin (measuring 22cm x 11cm x 7cm) with baking parchment and lightly grease the two unlined ends with butter

4. Heat the oven to 170C (gas mark 3) and position a shelf in the centre of the oven

5. Grind the chopped roasted hazelnuts in short bursts, in a coffee grinder or a mini processor, until fine

6. Take a large mixing bowl and beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy

7. Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time

8. Sift in the flour, cocoa and espresso-grind coffee and mix

9. Add the ground hazelnuts and mix in, then add the mashed banana and strained raisins until just combined, careful not to over-mix

10. Add the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly

11. Scatter a generous sprinkling of Demerara sugar over the surface

12. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake is risen, firm and brown and cooked in the centre

13. Remove the cake from the oven, and loosen it away from the sides with a thin bladed knife before turning it out of the tin. Allow to cool on a wire rack and then slice


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