Thursday, 23 June 2011

Walnut and coffee cake


5 tbsp instant coffee
350g caster sugar
3 vanilla pods or 3 tsp vanilla extract
240g shelled walnuts
240g ground almonds
380g unsalted butter, diced
5 eggs
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
butter for greasing
cocoa powder for the tin

1. Grease and sprinkle with cocoa a 25cm tin and line the bottom with baking paper. in a cup dissolve the coffee with 2 tbsp boiling water. Mix it well making sure all has dissolved, you might need to put it into the microwave for a few secs and continue mixing.

2. Chop walnuts finely (7 seconds/Speed 5). Tip out and reserve.

3. Put the sugar and vanilla pods (if using) in the TM bowl, put the TM cup on and grind (25 seconds/Speed 10)

4. Add the butter, put the TM cup on and mix (5 minutes/Speed 7) until pale and light, stopping to scrape down the sides with the spatula 3 times, ending with scraping the sides.

5. Insert the Butterfly Whisk and with the blades running on Speed 4, drop the eggs one at the time through the hole in the TM lid, mixing until well blended after each addition.

6. Remove the Butterfly Whisk. Add the walnuts, almonds and dissolved coffee and vanilla extract (if using). Mix in at Speed 4.

7. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Fold in the flour mixed with the baking powder. Spoon into the tin and bake at 160°C/300°F/gas 3 for about 90 minutes.

The Cooking Monster's Tip: I have used a previously homemade butter from a 500ml double cream (refer to your Fast and Easy Cooking Cookbook recipe or look here). It is much softer and creamier and I believe this is what gives the cake such a moisture.

You will also notice (if you compare my recipe to the "Coffee, walnut and hazelnut cake" from the Fast and Easy Cooking Cookbook), that I have replaced the hazelnuts with almonds. Well, I believe that they add the moisture to the cake but don't over power with its taste. I thought the hazelnuts would of add an additional flavour to the walnuts, coffee and vanilla, that this cake doesn't need - yet it's a personal preference!

We have preferred to eat it as it comes out of the oven, pure sponge. However, if your are looking for something more special or a perfect celebration cake, then use this absolutely priceless "Coffee Buttercream" recipe that has been in my family for generations and has been passed on to me by my Grandmother. Feel free to use it!

For this, cool down the cake on the rack. Then cut it horizontally in half (or 3 layers if preferred). Spread some frosting using a pallett knife. Assemble, and cover either just the top or the top and the sides with the remaining frosting. You can also use some roughly chopped walnuts (walnut halves Turbo Pulse in TM bowl until required texture) and using your clean and dry hand, pat them gently to the frosting around the side of the cake. Then use some walnut halves to decorate the top.

Next time I will bake it with the frosting, I will show you my Grandmother's way to decorate the cake, you have probably never seen before! Watch this space :)


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