Friday, 19 February 2010

Coffee and Walnut cake - Out of Vogue or Out of this world?


So yesterday, I made a coffee and walnut cake for a friend as a birthday celebration. Having quizzed her sometime ago about what her favourite cake was she announced it was coffee and walnut. Well that’s a surprise I thought as it never enters my top ten. I don’t really like coffee flavouring and would always discard the coffee creams from the box of Milk Tray!


So when making the cake last night, it did make me consider whether I should move coffee and walnut up my cake preference list particularly when I dipped my finger into the cake mix and took a lick. “Come in here” I shouted to Andy. “You just have to taste this”. It was sublime and thankfully we managed to leave enough mixture to still bake the sponge.
So when I dropped off the cake to my friend last night, I was even more delighted when she proposed a cup of tea and a slice. I would get to taste the finished article too. It was lovely. It was a really smooth taste, enhanced by adding an actual espresso made in the Nespresso coffee machine to the mixture and the icing, rather than using coffee granules. In fact I felt like I had grown up. Coffee and Walnut is an adult experience. It is smooth and sophisticated and yes my view now – Out of this World!

Do you want the recipe? Here it is. Join me for a seriously adult experience.
What’s in it
170g/6oz Self Raising Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

170g/6oz Caster Sugar

170g/6oz Softened Butter
3 beaten eggs

1 espresso coffee, i.e. espresso cup size


For the filling and topping

225g/8oz Icing Sugar

110g/4oz butter
Half espresso coffee
Walnut halves to decorate

Cook at 170.


What I do

Grease and line two 7 inch sandwich baking tins. I put the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter and beaten eggs into my kitchen aid bowl and then use the mixer to mix these ingredients together. Mix for a good 2-3 minutes to ensure that everything is blended in. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and to ensure that there are no unmixed ingredients lurking at the bottom. Then add in your cup of espresso coffee and mix this in. Share out the mixture between the two tins and spread it out with a palette knife.

Cook for about 25 minutes until the cake is nicely brown and springs back when you touch it. Test it is cooked through by inserting a skewer into the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Put the cakes onto a cooling rack and leave to cool while you make the icing.
To make the icing mix together the butter, icing sugar and espresso coffee. Again I do this using my kitchen aid mixer. Anything for an easy life you know. Once the sponges are cool, dollop and spread some of the icing between the sponges to sandwich it together, making sure that you leave plenty to spread over the top. Finish it off by decorating with the walnut halves.

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