Recipe: Coffee and Walnut Cake
Nigel slater said he would have this coffee and walnut cake for his last meal on earth, and I would be inclined to agree. But I can’t have it with a cup of coffee, oh no. It has to be tea. Proper, English, tea and cake.
Give it a try, I swear it is one of the best stress relievers… And don’t give me any of that green tea nonsense. English breakfast only.
The icing on this cake is a perfect butter icing, not the most refined swiss-meringue buttercream but that thick, dense, gone-slightly-hard coating that you don’t see much of these days. The salt added to the icing gives a much needed savoury note, and I am sooo into the whole sweet and salty thing right now. Also, one other thing, the walnuts on the top of the cake are toasted in the oven for 10 minutes and left to cool. It gets rid of that cupboardy taste walnuts have.
(Also, happy birthday Martin! I hope you enjoyed the cake x)
Coffee and walnut cake
Adapted from Nigel Slater
175g unrefined golden caster sugar
65g walnut pieces
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp instant coffee granules
For the filling:
400g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
3 tsp instant coffee granules
12 toasted walnut halves
You will also need 2 x 21cm sponge tins.
Beat the butter and sugar till it is light, pale and fluffy. Set the oven at 180°C/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, line the base of two 21cm sponge tins with parchment and chop the walnuts. Crack the eggs into a bowl, break them up with a fork and add them a little at a time to the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition.
Mix the flour and baking powder together and mix into the butter and sugar gently, with the mixer on a slow speed or by hand, with a large metal spoon. Dissolve the coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the cake. Chop the walnuts and fold gently into the cake.
Divide the cake mixture between the two cake tins, smooth lightly, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
To make the frosting, beat the butter till soft and pale with an electric beater, then add the sugar and salt and beat till smooth and creamy. Stir 1 tbsp boiling water into the coffee granules then mix it into the buttercream.
As soon as it is cool, turn one half of the cake upside down on a plate or board, spread it with a good third of the buttercream, then place the second half on top. Spread the remaining buttercream on top and round the sides, and place the walnut halves on top.