James Martin's Coffee and rum cake

Treat yourself with this amazing cake filled with rum scented cream and lots of chocolate!
By James Martin
James Martin's Coffee and rum cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 3.6666666666666665 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus chilling and cooling
  • Effort: hard


For the cake

  • 300 g butter, softened
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp coffee essence
  • 6 eggs
  • 300 g self-raising flour

For the crème patissière

  • 450 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 25 g caster sugar

For the meringue mushrooms

  • 3 egg whites
  • 180 g sugar
  • icing sugar and cocoa powder, to decorate

For the chocolate icing

  • 3 egg whites
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 200 g chocolate, melted
  • 250 g butter
  • chocolate shavings, to decorate

For the rum sugar syrup

  • 50 ml sugar syrup, (see cook's tips)
  • 25 ml rum

Tips and Suggestions

To make a simple sugar syrup, mix 3 parts water to 1 part sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line two 23cm spring form tins.

2. For the cake: cream together the butter and sugar until just starts to lighten from buttery yellow to white. Add the coffee essence, a pinch of salt, then add the eggs one at a time. Gently fold in the flour by hand. Divide between the two tins and drop the cake tins onto your work surface to fill in the gaps around the edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

3. For the crème patissière: bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, rum, cornflour and sugar. Whisk in a little of the vanilla milk, then add to the pan with the remaining milk. Warm through until thickened, whisking continuously. Leave to cool completely.

4.For the meringue mushrooms: Melt the sugar with 5 tablespoons of water on a low heat in a saucepan. Whisk the egg whites until thick and glossy then, whilst still whisking, steadily pour the melted sugar into the egg whites. Spoon into a piping bag.

5. Pipe round mushroom tops 5cm wide, then mushroom bottoms 1cm wide and 5cm tall. Bake at 100C/80C fan/gas ¼ for about 1 hour.

6. For the chocolate icing: whisk the eggs until thick and glossy. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and water to 118-120C and whisk into the eggs. Add the chocolate and butter and chill in the fridge.

7. Mix the sugar syrup with the rum. To assemble, slice the cakes in half lengthways. Dab the layers with rum sugar syrup and fill with crème patissière, layering up so that you have 4 layers.

8. Cover in chocolate icing and decorate with chocolate shavings and meringue mushrooms, held together with a little of the chocolate icing. Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder.

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