Tag Archives: Afternoon tea

Soaked coffee and walnut cake

27 Nov

Coffee and walnut is one of my all time favourite cakes. Delia Smith’s ‘Austrian coffee and walnut cake’ has the best recipe I have tried. What makes it so tasty is that as soon as the cake is taken out of the oven, coffee syrup is poured over to soak into the cake, giving it an amazingly moist, coffee enriched flavour and texture. In theory it should be baked in two sandwich tins, with each cake having a share of the coffee, meaning that you get the syrupy loveliness in two cakes. However, as I only have a loaf tin, the bottom two thirds of the cake was comparably a lot drier to two sandwich tin cakes soaked in syrup. I used my own buttercream recipe that is simple and can be made with everyday storecuboard ingredients.
I served this as part of my Exeter-inspired afternoon tea with some friends in Nice. My parents visited and also had a few slices – a proper ‘feed a crowd’ cake!

TIP: If you are using a loaf tin, it’s tempting to make more syrup to allow the bottom half of the cake to complement from it, however do not do this as it would give your cake a soggy top!

Serves 8
Ingredients:
For the cake –
1 ½ level tablespoons instant coffee mixed with 2 tablespoons boiling water
75g walnut halves
175g self raising flour
1 ½ level teaspoons baking powder
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs

For the syrup –
1 level tablespoon instant coffee
50g Demerara sugar (I used caster as I had nothing else and worked perfectly)

For the coffee buttercream –
125g softened butter (I prefer to use salted – I find it gives a richer taste)
200g icing sugar

1 dessert spoon instant coffee dissolved with 1 ½ tablespoons boiling water.

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 170C (fan). Reserving a few for decoration, roughly break up your walnut halves and spread them on a baking tray. Toast in the oven for around 8 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, sieve your flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Then, simply add all the other ingredients apart from the coffee and walnuts and mix together with a wooden spoon or use an electric whisk so all of the ingredients are well combined and the mixture drops off a wooden spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl.
3. Fold in the coffee mixture and walnuts. Divide the mixture between 2 greased sandwich tins with the bottoms lined with baking paper. If you do not have sandwich tins, a loaf tin will do providing it is well greased. Pop into the oven for 30minutes or so (for sandwich tins) or around 45 minutes (for a loaf tin) until a skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean.
4. Whilst the cake is baking, make the coffee syrup by placing the coffee and sugar into a heatproof jug. Add 55ml boiling water and stir briskly until the coffee and sugar is dissolved.
5. When the cakes are cooked, leave to cool for 5 minutes then remove from tins and place on a wire rack to cool. Pour the syrup equally over each cake whilst the cakes are still warm so the syrup is absorbed better.
6. When the cakes are cooled, spread with a good slathering of buttercream and decorate with the remaining walnut halves. To make the buttercream you simply mix together the softened butter with sieved icing sugar added a little at a time. When all the icing sugar has been added, dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. You should have a strong, syrupy coffee. Mix this into the buttercream and you will have a delicious creamy coffee buttercream. I dare you not to lick the bowl!