Monday 5 March 2012

Coffee & Walnut Cake

This weekend was a wash-out. Brief sun on Saturday was followed by persistent rain so I decided to stay in and bake a cake.

A quick poll around the family elected Coffee and Walnut which I haven't made for a while so I consulted with Nigel Slater (The Kitchen Diaries). I'm not a great follower of recipes. I use them as a guide and then do my own thing.  I used less sugar and more flour, proper coffee instead of instant and rather than put chopped nuts in the butter icing I arranged half walnuts over the top (looks pretty!).

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 175 grams unsalted butter
  • 200 grams self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons STRONG coffee
  • 65 grams walnuts pieces
  • A little extra butter for greasing the cake tin
Ingredients for butter icing:
  • 150 grams butter
  • 300 grams icing sugar
  • 2 tablepoons of STRONG coffee
  • walnut halves for decoration

Butter a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin, then line it with grease-proof paper and butter that.

Take the butter out of the fridge an hour or so before you start so it is soft enough to work with. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl using a fork or wooden spoon. When it's creamy and smooth add the eggs and flour and baking powder. Add one egg then some flour, keep beating, then the next egg and more flour and so on. Then add the coffee. Chop the nuts very finely using a large knife on a flat board (or blitz in your favourite machine). Stir into the mixture.

Turn on the oven to 160C. I used a fan oven which heats up very quicky so I don't need to turn it on before starting the mixing. If you have a conventional oven you may need to turn it on earlier and set it to 180C. Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and smooth over the top. When the oven has reached the correct temperature place the cake in the middle of the oven. It should be done in 45 mins, but check towards the end because ovens and the mixture can vary.

Take the cake out and cool it on a wire tray. When cool enough to handle remove from the tin, remove the paper and leave to cool some more.

Make the butter icing by beating the butter and sugar together until smooth and then mixing in the coffee and beating some more. I do this by hand but you might prefer to put all the ingredients in a food mixer and blitz.

When the cake is cool cut through the middle with a bread knife. Spread half the butter icing through the middle, sandwich the top and bottom together and spread the rest of the icing over the top and decorate with half walnuts. Enjoy!

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