This week I decided to do a little bit of cake research. I took to social media to ask what was the most popular cake to order in a cafe. The overwhelming winner was coffee and walnut cake.
I hadn’t made coffee and walnut cake before and as it seems to be the peoples favourite, I thought I should give it a go.
I read a Guardian article by Felicity Cloake on how to make the perfect coffee and walnut cake. As you may know I am quite a traditional baker and I wanted a classic coffee and walnut cake. The Nigel Slater recipe she mentioned sounded perfect for me and Nigel even said it would be his last meal if he had to choose one. So I thought if it’s good enough for Nigel, its good enough for me.
I have made a few tweaks to his recipe, mainly because I didn’t have golden caster sugar and wanted a slightly stronger coffee flavour in the cake.
Coffee and walnut cake
100g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
65g walnut pieces
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp instant coffee granules
400g icing sugar
2 tsps instant coffee granules
60g walnut pieces
You will also need 2 x 21cm sandwich tins.
Set the oven at 180 degrees C. Line the base and edges of two 20cm sponge tins with greaseproof paper. I line the edges as well as it stops them from browning too much.
Beat Stork and sugar until light and fluffy and a lot paler in colour. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour to stop the mixture from curdling. Then add the remaining flour and baking powder and fold by hand until completely mixed. Chop the walnuts. Dissolve the coffee granules in a splash of boiling water. Nigel’s recipe said 2 tsp of coffee but I used 3 as I wanted a good coffee hit. If you’re not sure, add a little at a time until you get it just how you want it. Fold in chopped walnuts and coffee mixture.
Divide the cake mixture between the two cake tins, smooth lightly, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
To make the butter cream, beat the butter till soft and pale and then add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Normally I mix the butter and icing sugar together straight away but Nigel’s recipe suggested softening the butter first and it worked brilliantly. It made the smoothest, velvety frosting! Stir coffee with a splash of boiling water and mix it into the butter cream.
Once the cake has cooled, turn one half of the cake upside down on a plate or board, spread it with half the butter cream, then place the second half on top. Spread the remaining butter cream on top. Sprinkle with chopped walnut pieces.
I actually wasn’t a coffee and walnut fan before I tried this one but its safe to say I am a convert!