I feel sorry for my Mum, she misses out on my baking in a big way. She is a monster migraine sufferer and this limits the things she can eat; the main things she has to avoid is chocolate, cheese, chocolate, peanuts, chocolate… I know chocolate! So my Coffee Walnut Cake Recipe is one for her.
It is only fair that I turn my attentions towards my lovely Mum from time to time and make a special effort to include her in my yummy produce. Even though my Mother has to avoid coffee, she takes the risk with coffee and walnut cake and reportedly it is one of her favourites.
To Make My Coffee Walnut Cake Recipe You will need
- 225g Soft Butter
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 50ml Strong Espresso Coffee
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- 75g Roughly Chopped Walnuts
Before You Start
Put the oven on at 180C (that’s 350F), line the bottom of your tins with baking parchment and lightly butter the sides of your 8 inch tins.
Make up your espresso, if you brew from scratch go for a good strong blend, you’ll need 50ml (just over 3 tablespoons). I like to use Nescafe Espresso powder; I use 3 teaspoons in boiling water. You need to make it with boiling water and allow it to cool completely.
Chop your walnuts up into pieces, not too small. I like to do this with a knife – a food processor will either grind them into a powder or the bits will all end up the same size – texture is the key here… some small bits some more chunky.
Whisk together the butter and sugar, this will start out a nice yellowish buttery colour, keep going until this mixture is light and fluffy – you’ll know it is right when it goes a pale cream shade. We want the air to help the sponge rise.
Whip the eggs into the mixture one at a time. I crack my eggs into a bowl – rather than straight into the mixture; that way if there any stray bits of shell I can take them out of the bowl rather then fish them out of the mixture. Try not to take too long mixing in the eggs as you’ll knock the air out of the mix.
Before adding the flour to the mix sift it. Add the flour, chopped nuts and cooled espresso all in one go and ‘cut’ them in. Cutting in or folding in is where you take a large metal spoon or a spatula and scrape around the side of the bowl and then cut through the centre of the mixture. Keep scraping and cutting whilst you turn the bowl until the mixture is fully combined. If you used a wooden spoon and just stirred away the clumsy wooden spoon would knock out the lovely air that you have spent so long incorporating into the mixture – this would result in a more heavy sponge.
Divide the mixture between the two lined tins, level them off and pop them in to cook for 18 to 23 mins on the same shelf. It is important that you do not open the oven too early, but at about 15 mins it will be safe to check – if bits of the cakes are cooking a little more than others turn the cakes around or swop the tins over.
You will know when they are cooked when the sponge bounces back in the middle and a skewer comes out clean. Another good tip to look for is the sponges coming away from the edges slightly. Cake tins are wonderful things – so many of mine have been brought for me as gifts – some are from older relatives and these were around when Erik was a little boy – so they are important things.
Once the sponges have finished cooking take them out of the oven, leave them to cool for 1 or 2 mins and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool. I always tip my cakes out so that the top of the cake is face down for one sponge – this will be the bottom one and the second face up. This gives you one sponge that is flatter, making a good base for the second sponge with a dome on top for the presentation.
For The Filling And The Topping You Will Need
- 125g Soft Butter
- 200g Icing Sugar
- 50ml Strong Espresso Coffee
- 12 Walnut Halves To Adorn Your Finished Cake
Put the sugar in the bottom of your mixing bowl and drop the butter in on top of the sugar (this stops all the butter sticking to the bottom of the bowl!). Whisk this until it becomes light and fluffy – it needs to loose its yellow butter like tone and be pale – this will make it much lighter. Add in the espresso and fully combine.
Top Tip – I’m making this in a jug and this fits nicely around my mixer blades. Doing it in a jug rather than a more shallow bowl keeps all the mix in one place and whisking the mixture into a mousse like finish is easy.
Spread half the mix onto your first sponge, drop the top sponge onto the filling. Then swirl the top layer over the surface of the top sponge. Press walnut halves into the surface of the frosting using a clock as a guide.