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walnut and coffee spong cake

In my house we tend to go through cooking phases of loving a particular recipe, be it cake, a pasta dish or a way I cook the vegetables.  Then all of a sudden I will not want to eat it again.  This can last for months if not years.  The poor coffee and walnut sponge cake has been victim to one of these phases.  It was when I was trying to build up some inspiration by looking at my larder shelves of what to bake when I saw a packet of walnuts.  I realised I haven’t baked a coffee and walnut cake for ages.

When I was a child and taken out for afternoon tea the coffee and walnut cake was an indulgence, the height of sophistication and the only way I was ever going to get a taste of coffee.  There were some very strict and strange rules when I was growing up and one of them was that I was not allowed to drink coffee, not until I reached the age of 18.  I don’t know the reason, and I never asked but the thought of having the forbidden coffee and walnut cake every now and then was enough to keep me quiet.

Coffee & Walnut Sponge Cake with Coffee Butter Icing

Ingredients

150g/ 6 oz butter softened

150g/ 6 oz caster sugar

3 eggs beaten

150g/ 6 oz self raising flour

40g/ 1 ½ oz walnuts finely chopped

  1. Turn oven to 350F/180C or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Whisk the butter and sugar until pale in colour.  Add the eggs a little at a time.  If the mixture begins to curdle add a tablespoon of the weighed flour.
  3. Fold the chopped walnuts into the mixture.
  4. Gently fold in the remaining flour.
  5. Transfer into three cake tins (or two tins if you want just a two layer sponge cake) and bake in the centre of the oven for 25/30 mins until risen and sponge has just left the sides of the cake tin.  A final test would be to gently push your finger into the middle of the cake, if it springs back it’s done.  Leave in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool with the top of the cake facing upwards.  Otherwise as the cake cools the wire rack will leave an impression on the sponges.

Coffee Butter Icing

Ingredients

100g/ 4 oz butter softened

225g/ 8 oz icing sugar

3 tbsp cold milk

4 tsp coffee granules

  1. Mix the coffee with the milk and stir until it has dissolved.
  2. In a bowl add all the ingredients and blend with a food mixer on the slowest speed to begin with otherwise there will be icing sugar everywhere.  As the mixture starts to blend turn the speed up and continue mixing until you have a smooth thick cream.

To make up the cake

Make a decision as to which sponge has the best looking top, save this for the top layer.   If one of the cakes has broken, don’t worry use it for the bottom layer.  Divide the butter cream in half, spreading the bottom sponge layer with one half and then placing second sponge on top.  Spread the remaining buttercream and top with last layer and dust with icing sugar and store in an airtight tin.

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