Monday, 27 June 2016

Coffee and Walnut Cake


This cake is absolutely amazing. And I’m not just tooting my own horn here. Everyone who had a piece, or 2, or 3, was in love and the cake was eaten in a matter of days.

Lately, my go to book for baking recipes has been Bake it Better: Classic Cakes by Linda Collister—if you can recall, the Victoria Sponge and Blueberry Muffins I made were also taken from here. If you haven’t picked up a copy you should definitely do so (or look for it online). The recipes never disappoint and the pictures are gorgeous.

With that said, I did double the recipe for this Coffee and Walnut Cake. I wanted to create something a bit more decadent and extravagant. I also opted to frost the entire cake, rather than leaving it as a traditional sponge cake.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Taken from Bake it Better: Classic Cakes, by Linda Collister


For the Sponge
200g Walnuts
350g Unsalted Butter, at room temp
350g Sugar
350g Self-Raising Flour
6 Med Eggs, at room temp
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Instant Coffee Granules, I used Nescafe
2 tbsp Boiling Water

For the Filling/Frosting
250g Unsalted Butter, diced
6 tbsp Instant Coffee Granules, Nescafe
4 tbsp Boiling Water
600g Icing Sugar, sifted
8 tbsp Single or Double Cream (or whipping cream), at room temp
Walnut Halves, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease two round baking tins

For the Sponge
1. Place the walnuts in an ovenproof dish and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly coloured. Set aside to cool, and then chop into smaller pieces. You will need 150g for the sponge and 50g for the filling/frosting.
2. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk or wooden spoon until creamy (should resemble mayonnaise). Then gradually beat in the sugar, a couple of spoonfuls at a time, making sure to periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until all the sugar is incorporated and it is light and fluffy.
3. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat with a fork until broken up. Then gradually add them into the butter-sugar mixture, beating well throughout. If the mixture curdles then add 1-2 tbsp of flour and continue to mix.
4. In a bowl, combine and sift the remaining flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, dissolve the instant coffee with the boiling water. Add both the bowls and the reserved 150g of walnuts to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Use a spatula or a spoon to FOLD all of the ingredients together. DO NOT OVERMIX
5. Divide the batter equally into the 2 prepared tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponges are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean (you can also check if your cake is cooked by lightly pressing in the centre—the cake should spring back if it is done). Run a sharp knife around the inside of the tins to loosen the sponges, let them firm up for about 2 mins, and then turn them out onto a wire rack. Let them cool completely.

For the Filling/Frosting
1. In a small bowl dissolve the coffee in the boiling water. Then sift the icing sugar into a separate heatproof bowl.
2. Place the butter into a small pan and melt over low heat. Bring the butter to a boil and then quickly take it off the heat and pour it straight onto the icing sugar. Immediately add the warm coffee and the cream. Beat well with spoon or mixer until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining walnuts. Let the frosting cool and thicken.

Assembling the Cake

1. Set one of the sponges crust-side down on a serving plate and spread with half of your frosting. Cover with the second sponge, and spread with the remaining frosting on top. I opted to cover the whole cake with the frosting, just my own personal preference, so I crumb coated the cake first and then topped with the remaining frosting. Finish the cake by adding whole walnut halves.


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