Hands up who loves Biscoff or Speculoos? These spiced cookies and their accompanying spread have a cult following and for good reason. The mix of spices is juuuuust right and the spread is highly addictive. This multi layer cake is an ode to speculoos and Biscoff and for spice lovers everywhere. I called her Meera and she is a pushy recipe!
The inspiration for this cake came from the Russian honey cake. It's layers of deliciousness and the cookie becomes soft when combined with the cream filling which is how you get the layers so thin.
Weapon of choice: Biscoff
Each spiced cake layer is brushed with chai latte, Biscoff spread and whipped Biscoff cream and then it is smothered in a dreamy smooth coffee buttercream and topped with Biscoff cookies and crumbs!
Okay I'm not going to lie, this cake is a production. Ideally, you would make it over 2 days (less if you have a big kitchen) but if you love Biscoff cookies or speculoos spiced biscuits then you'll adore this cake. It's pure speculoos in every bite. And perhaps those that are enjoying their holidays or a more relaxed pace in January might enjoy this project.
I'm really enjoying January and being able to see friends in contrast to a very busy and hectic December. One night I was texting Laura about dinner that evening. She messaged me that she was 5 minutes walk away and I texted her back that I had just pulled up in the car. Mr NQN had given me a lift in.
Suddenly a message came through, "My brother and sister in law have COVID!".
"Hang on," I said to Mr NQN, freezing suddenly, "I may not be going out to dinner!". I knew that Laura had just spent Christmas with her family, brother included. I was also surprised because Laura and I are very similar in our caution of COVID and I kept thinking that it was strange that she was dropping it casually into our conversation when we were literally about to meet. "I don't get it, Laura is much better than that," I muttered to myself. She is a very thoughtful person and it just wasn't right.
But trying to be supportive, I didn't want to say "What the actual $%^?" and said, "OMG Where did they get it? Are you worried?".
"Yes I'm worried they're both sick," she replied.
"Are you worried about getting it from them?" I texted back.
"They're in Spain," she replied.
At this point my brain was exploding because I know it's hard to go overseas in these COVID times and suddenlyher brother was holidaying after having Christmas in Sydney with family? Then I looked down. My phone had flipped to another conversation I was having with another friend (name withheld for privacy). It wasn't Laura at all that I was talking to!
Relief washing all over me like a cold wave. I turned to Mr NQN and explained what happened and then went to meet Laura. My friend's brother and sister in law are in recovery which they have been for a while and are slowly getting better.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you friends of a similar precaution level to you with COVID? Do you like Biscoff or Speculoos?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 3 hours plus overnight resting time
Cooking time: 60 minutes
For the cake
- 180g/6ozs. caster sugar
- 180g/6ozs. butter
- 4 tablespoons/80ml/3flozs. cream
- 4 tablespoons/80ml/3flozs. honey
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 egg
- 450g/1lb. self raising flour
- 600ml/20.3flozs. cream
- 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs. chai latte, cold
- 400g/14oz. jar Biscoff spread
For coffee buttercream
- 250g/8.8ozs. butter, softened
- 1/2 cup/125g/4ozs. sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 75ml/2.5flozs. coffee, cooled until body temperature (not hot!)
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1.5 packets Biscoff cookies
Note: You will also need a lot of baking parchment for this
Melting the ingredients in a double boiler
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Melt the sugar, butter, cream, honey, cocoa and spices over a double boiler (a heatproof bowl sitting on top of a pot of simmering water). Add the egg and whisk and then add the flour in four lots. It will become thick like a cookie dough. Remove from heat and divide into 9 equal portions.
A cookie-like dough once flour and egg are added
Rolled out dough, cutting out rounds using a cake tin
Step 2 - Roll out each ball between two sheets of parchment into a 18cm/7inch circle (I used a baking tin and traced around it) and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for 7 minutes or until cooked in the centre. Cool completely-this will be very delicate when warm but will harden like a cookie upon cooling. You can also trim the cookie to remove any jagged edges while warm or cool (it's much easier when it is warm).
Cut out round ready for baking
Trimming off the edges once baked
Step 3 - Whip the cream until you get soft peaks and add 200g of the Biscoff spread. Place one layer on a serving plate and brush with chai latte. Then spread with some of the remaining 200g of Biscoff spread and then the Biscoff cream. Repeat with the remaining layers. If the layers look like they're a bit unsteady place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up half way through the layers. Place the cake in the fridge and allow the cookie layers to absorb the cream and flavours overnight. Or you can go onto the next step almost straight away-just pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
Brush with chai latte
Spread with Biscoff spread
Then spread with Biscoff whipped cream
Step 4 - Make the coffee buttercream for the outside. On a lowish speed (3 out of 10) beat the butter until smooth for 1 minutes. Then add the sugar and salt and beat for 1 minute adding the coffee and instant coffee. Beat for 8 minutes or until the grains of sugar melt.
Step 5 - Spread the buttercream around the cake leaving around 1/2 cup remaining for piping on top. Process 8 Biscoff cookies until fine crumbs and spoon these against the cake. I find this easiest to do on a baking tray that will catch all the crumbs. Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes on top leaving space for the Biscoff cookies. I sprinkle a little coffee powder on top of the rosettes too. Place the Biscoff cookies in the gaps.