At the weekend I made this classic Coffee & Walnut cake and have been enjoying generous slices accompanied by cups of tea ever since! The recipe is from my beloved River Cottage Cake Handbook by Pam Corbin. I scaled it down to fit my 15cm cake tin and baked it as one whole cake before slicing it in half and sandwiching it back together with a thick layer of coffee buttercream. I decided not to make the glace icing but doubled up on the buttercream instead and spread it over the top and sides. I finished it off with my favourite Rococo Chocolate Coffee Beans! Though walnut halves would be nice too.
Coffee & Walnut cake to fit a 15 cm round cake tin:
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g butter (cut into cubes and softened)
75g soft brown sugar
75g golden caster sugar
1 heaped tbsp good instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
100g chopped walnuts
120g butter (cut into cubes and softened)
250g icing sugar softened
1 tbsp good instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Grease and line your cake tin.
Sift together your flour and baking powder and set aside. Using either a mixing bowl and wooden spoon or your trusty electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the two sugars and beat until the whole mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tbsp of flour in between each one and beating thoroughly before adding the next. Stir in the coffee essence.
Fold in the remaining flour half at a time before folding in the chopped walnuts (top tip: To save time I put my walnuts in a freezer bag and carefully smashed them up with a rolling pin. Remember to put the bag on a sturdy surface and leave the top open so any air can escape). Pour your mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the center of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes. When done the cake should spring back up when lightly pressed in the middle and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out free from gloopy wet cake mixture.
Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the buttercream...
Beat the butter to a cream, add the icing sugar and coffee essence then beat until light and creamy.
To assemble, cut your cake in half neatly and evenly across the horizontal plane. Pop the bottom half of the cake on your fancy cake stand and spread three tablespoons of the buttercream over the top. Sandwich on the top half and spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides. Don't worry if you get icing on the cake plate it's fine. Decorate with your coffee beans (or walnuts) and enjoy!
I found this pretty cake stand in Age Concern in Skipton - I think it was £12.99. There was another larger one with yellow flowers for the same price but it felt just too indulgent to buy both! Oh the regret. It's probably still there if anyone's in the market for one.