Here is a very easy recipe for a coffee and walnut cake. It’s almost a “one bowl” cake – you only need to add the coffee and walnuts to the basic mix at the end. Cook as two layers and fill and ice with buttercream as I did, or make one larger cake, or you could even make twelve cupcakes! It’s such a versatile recipe.
50g ground almonds
125g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tsps instant coffee powder
2 tbls milk
50g chopped walnuts + a few extra for decorating
125g butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp instant coffee
1 tbls milk
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Generously butter two 18cm (7″) cake tins.
Put all the ingredients except the milk, coffee and walnuts into an electric mixer and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Dissolve the instant coffee into the milk, and add together with the chopped walnuts into the mixture.
Divide the batter equally between the two tins. Place the tins in the oven and bake for 25- 30 minutes or until the cakes are cooked and golden on top, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave in the tins for 5 minutes before carefully turning out of the tins to cool on a wire rack.
In a food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light an fluffy. Dissolve the instant coffee into the milk. Add this mixture to the icing, process until light and creamy.
When cakes are completely cool, spread half of the buttercream icing on the bottom layer, and top with the second layer.
Roughly ice the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the buttercream using a palette knife. When you get to the sides, occasionally dip the palette knife into cold water as you ice to remove some of the thicker icing and to create the “naked icing” effect. The idea is that the top of the cake is well iced and that the side sides are stripped back for a rustic look. I’m still mastering the naked icing effect! Place the reserved walnuts on the top of the cake for decoration, or add a flower or two.